We had planned some quite elaborate celebrations to mark the leaving of the Bishop’s Court but, as with so many important events this year, COVID-19 restrictions thwarted us.
Archbishop Geoff, however, gave thanks for the ministry of the Chapel at the residence and deconsecrated it as a place of worship. You can see and hear his words and prayers in the video.
After he has finished, stay for a short tribute to the glorious stained glass of the chapel accompanied by the ancient hymn, Phos Hilaron, or Hail Gladdening Light, set to a chant by Sir John Stainer, and sung by the Choir of Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut.
It is the earliest known Christian hymn recorded outside of the Bible that is still in use today. It was originally written in Greek, but the English words are as follows:
Hail Gladdening Light
Of His pure glory poured
Who is the Immortal Father, Heavenly Blest
Holiest of Holies, Jesus Christ our Lord
Now we are come to the sun’s hour of rest
The lights of evening ’round us shine
We hymn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Divine
Worthiest art Though, at all times to be sung
With undefiled tongue
Son of our God, Giver of life alone
Therefore, in all the world Thy glories Lord
Bishop’s Court’s foundation stone was laid in 1951, but the building was not ready for occupation until 1856.
The building remained unaltered until the time of Bishop Arthur Nutter Thomas, who arrived from England in 1906 and built the chapel in 1911-12 to take the place of the small room off the previous library.
To do this the arcading which originally went right around the house to the front door was removed.
In the coming weeks we will be preparing a longer video and oral tribute to Bishop’s Court featuring reminiscence of some of the families who have lived there and others for whom it was an important part of Adelaide Anglican life over the years.