One of the most famous hymns in the world came out of Brixham in Devon.
In those days it was a poor obscure fishing village and the vicar was the Reverend Francis Henry Lyte (1793 – 1847).
It was a discouraging place to be a pastor, but Francis felt that God had called him to this place. Francis suffered ill health and at the age of 54 he contracted tuberculosis and his family knew he was dying.
It would have been so easy to look back on his life and feel a failure; yet Francis knew that in life it is not worldly things that matter, but how much we follow and respond to Jesus Christ.
In 1847 he went to France. The day before he left he read the Gospel of Luke about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who met Jesus and said to him, “Abide with us for it is getting dark.”
These words struck a cord with Francis as he knew that it was getting towards evening for him in his life. He sat down and wrote the hymn as we know today as “Abide with me’; shortly after this he preached his last sermon.
A few weeks later in Nice, France, he died. Today, a hundred years later, we still sing this hymn.