John Newton

John Newton

We were delighted to discover that John Newton – the author of the stirring hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ – had been ordained here in St Mary’s in 1764. We are very grateful to Marylynn Rouse and everyone at the John Newton Project [insert link] for telling us about the connection between the village and the famous abolitionist and hymnwriter. John Newton was born in 1725, and spent his early career in the shipping industry, heavily involved in the slave trade. His conversion to Christianity was gradual, and it wasn’t until he was able to leave the slave trade that he felt he had truly embraced the Christian faith, around the time that he began to think about his vocation to ordained ministry. Newton first experienced this sense of vocation in 1758, and penned a personal and moving set of reflections during the summer of that year, in preparation for this new phase of his life. He was eventually ordained as deacon and then as priest here in Buckden in 1764.

The Eucharist is the central act of worship in St Mary’s. It is celebrated here on Sundays at 8am (2nd, 4th and 5th), 10:30am (1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th) and 6.pm (1st and 5th ), and on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 9:30am.

All Christians who usually receive communion in their own Church, of whatever denomination, are welcome to receive at St Mary’s. If you prefer, you are welcome to come to the altar rail for a blessing instead.

Newton is well known for the way that in later life he repented of his own involvement with slavery and became active and vocal in the abolition movement, acting as an encouraging influence on William Wilberforce. In the mean time, he wrote a number of inspiring hymns, of which ‘Amazing Grace’ is the most famous and well loved. Other favourites include ‘Glorious things of thee are spoken’ and ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds’. Newton’s life and hymns have been an inspiration to many people over the last 250 years, and it’s really exciting to be able to celebrate his connection with St Mary’s. For more information about John Newton, details of publications, the words of his hymns and much more, please visit www.johnnewton.org

We come together in church to worship God, to hear His word and to share the Good news of Jesus,
receiving forgiveness and renewal through His death and resurrection.

We are sent out from church to live as Christian disciples, showing love to others
and living out our faith in all we think, say and do.

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