The Saints of God

Who is Lesbia Scott?

Lesbia Lesley Locket was born in Willesden in 1898, and educated at Raven's Croft School in Sussex. She married John Mortimer Scott, a naval officer, who later became an Anglican priest and served a parish near Dartmoor. Active in amateur theatre and religious drama, Mrs Scott did considerable writing, especially of religious drama. She died in 1986 at Pershore.

She also wrote the words for "I sing a song of the saints of God." (Hymn 293 TEC Hymnal 1980) Her words along with John Henry Hopkins's tune are finely embedded in my spirit and mind. Here is the tune played on the organ (a bit somberly, but OK):

For the record, here at PRELUDIUM as elsewhere in Anglican Land, this is a day to remember that those with whom we contend are to be counted (hopefully with us) as saints of God. This is not about the big saints alone. It is about us all.

It is hard to struggle against those who would declare us heretics without falling into the sin of denying that they too are numbered among the saints. It turns out that they are.

So in the heat of the day (or the cold) a short prayer of contrition: For all shortness of speech, for all sharpness of tongue, for unforgiving thoughts and unloving actions against these and all other saints of God, dear Lord forgive me.

We are in need of prayer, since it appears that by baptism we are going to be spending a bit of time with one another even if we aren't talking to one another.

Reconciliation sometimes begins with one sappy religions tune with words by Lesbia Scott.


  1. God, I love this hymn. I've been known to sing it by myself as I drive to work. Sure, it's a little sappy, but them so am I. :-)

  2. I'm with Billyd... love this hymn. Thanks for posting this...

  3. I sang it to both my children as a lullaby when they were babies.

  4. There is an offertory hymn that uses the same title and lyrics but the tune is radically different. I sang it way back in the 70's in junior choir.

    Actually I rather enjoy the tune of the offertory hymn, it's almost haunting, lots of sharps and flats...that is probably why I remember it so well. I can play it in my mind, as well as the conventional way.

  5. This hymn is silly in a wonderful way. We are using it tomorrow. I love it in all its hokeyness and will sing it for days after.

  6. I don't believe this hymn has ever appeared in an Anglican hymnal in Canada. My first exposure to it was in a nice murder mystery called (IIRC) The Saints of God Murders by the Rev'd Charles Meyer. The sleuth is an Episcopal priest and ex-prison chaplain, Lucas Holt.

    I understand Fr. Meyer was killed in a car accident some years ago. There were apparently two other Lucas Holt mysteries and several other pastoral books by Fr. Meyer.

    And speaking of murder mysteries, I recently made a brief cameo appearance in the latest mystery from my friend Gail Bowen in The Brutal Heart.

  7. A fine tune. And in a Major kee (kea)! Ours are nearly all in the minors...

  8. I had the oddest dream last night. I was in church and we were singing a hymn. I think that the tune was "Miles Lane," but I'm not sure. The weird thing was that the lyrics were written in scat: "Zim bop-be-bop da woodie-woo, bam biddidy boo da boo..." Some people in the congregation were puzzled, but I remember singing with gusto.

    Can you imagine? "And now, let us open our hymnals to number 451 and join together in singing our opening hymn, "Zim bop-be-bop."

  9. No walking apart because of the hymn, for we agree that we all love it. Lesbia Scott. Right.

  10. One of those "aha" moments for me brought about by this hymn is that with a little help we all become saints.

  11. By the way, this was our closing hymn this morning.

  12. Mark, do you think that when the "orthodox" get to heaven and see all the undesirables there, they will demand some sort of Alternative Deity Oversight program?

  13. We sang this hymn at evensong this evening. That third verse says it all!

  14. one of my favorites as well.

    As Malcolm said, it has not appeared in any Canadian hymnal, though it is in Junior Praise, which gets a good bit of use in our diocese. But I took the opportunity to introduce it to my choir (who quickly fell in love with it), and as we had a baptism yesterday, it was especially appropriate.


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Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.