‘And God Will Lead Us On’

In order to mark the transition of the Church from the former Baptist Chapel to Edith Kempson House, several members of the congregation composed a special song between 2006-2009, which was then recorded. The final lyrics of the song were emended after it had been recorded in order to reflect the completion of the building project.


Final lyrics (changes from the recording are marked with italics)

Two hundred years in Oxford; a seed planted in hope
Is now a church united in vision, peace and scope.
The faithful prayers of others, resources shared and blessed
Have seen us through some dark times of discouragement and test.

With numbers slowly falling; a building in decline
God fed our hearts with purpose made real in bread and wine.
Repair of ruined cities, sites desolate restored,
Were pictures given power by the Spirit of the Lord.

God has brought us to this place, given hope, encouragement;
In dark times he gave us strength; and he will lead us on!

Patient waiting, urgent prayer, a legacy in hand;
A seeking of God’s purpose led to buying fallow land.
New glimpses of the future, new conversations shared
With English Churches Housing Group; new challenges to be dared.

The planning process hampered by design or by delay
The go-ahead was given on a great October day.
A building’s demolition, eight flats put up instead
To house new friends and neighbours, and the apple tree was dead!

God has brought us to this place, given hope, encouragement;
In dark times he gave us strength; and he will lead us on!

Believing in God’s faithfulness, committed to the core
We left the chapel building and knocked on Emmanuel’s door.
Our future is unfolding, God’s grace has led to growth
In friends; a new community of faith and love and hope.

A call to Bristol came to Sian, her work with us being done.
With five new deacons chosen a search was now begun.
Pastor Andy came to view, a perfect fit we pray.
Meanwhile we go on working for the project’s dawning day.

God has brought us to this place, given hope, encouragement;
In dark times he gave us strength; and he will lead us on!

Contractors were all ready and the hoardings were on site
But months crept by before the final legal work came right.
And now the waiting’s over and at Pentecost we pray
For all God’s greatest blessings on the build from day to day.

Then Kate convinced the planners that conditions had been filled
So Mike and Ash with David could now get on with the build.
Despite the Oxford traffic Ross and Eileen lent a hand
And Edith Kempson House at last has risen on our land.

God has brought us to this place, given hope, encouragement;
In dark times he gave us strength; and he will lead us on!