Church of St Marylebone

The Parish Church of St Marylebone is one of those grandiose, eighteenth-century churches for which our capital is so rightly famous. As one might expect, a name-call of the great and the good associated with this church is long and interesting. It was to this church that Charles Wesley sought a final resting place. As well as living in the parish, he was concerned that his rector (and Bishop of Hereford) might have thought him a dissenter (a non-Anglican protestant) and therefore unsuitable for Anglican burial and funeral rites. Said he:

"Sir, whatever the world may say of me, I have lived, and I die, a member of the Church of England. I pray you to bury me in your churchyard."

This was granted, and to this day, a memorial to the greatest English hymn writer stands in the grounds. The Reverend Mr Wesley might have been less enthusiastic an Anglican in our day than his own, for the state church then was doctrinally sound, if a little stiff and formalistic.

I was a little sad to think that the hand which penned And Can it be, the mouth which first mimed Love Divine and the brain which first constructed Arise, my Soul, Arise should here be interred, decomposed to dust, even in the shadow of this lavish construction . Yet Wesley himself sounds better, composes better and looks better than even he did on earth, and the place which received his redeemed spirit was far more glorious than the one that received his lifeless corpse.

And though our bodies part,

To different climes afar,

Still ever joined as one in heart

The friends of Jesus are.

O let us still proceed

In Jesus' work below;

And, following our triumphant Head,

To further conquests go.


The vineyard of the Lord

Before his laborers lies,

And lo! we see the vast reward

Which waits us in the skies.


O that our heart and mind

May evermore ascend,

That haven of repose to find,

Where all our labors end;


Where all our toils are o'er,

Our suffering and our pain!

Who meet on that eternal shore

Shall never part again.


O happy, happy place,

Where saints and angels meet!

There we shall see each other's face,

And all our brethren greet.

-Charles Wesley