A Hospitable Table

A Hospitable Table

A hymn composed by Reverend Keith Gilley

The table set before us
In hospitality
Leaves room for all conditions
Of people who'd be free
For those who seek a better way
Some call - perhaps divine
Across divides of faith and kind
To enter, sit and dine.

In meeting-house and chapel
This freedom celebrate
In service and in ministry
Together we create
Community embracing
All those who enter there
Not crumbs from some high table
But ample food to share.

So now we would remember
And honour Gertrude's name
At first denied her table place
By men's consuming shame*
She broke perverse tradition
In England's staid domain
Alone a woman minister
A hundred thousand men.

And many since inspired by
Her courage and her years
Brought special gifts of ministry
To grace this hundred years
And set a bounteous table
In hospitality
With room for all conditions
Of people who'd be free.

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