CALLED TO BE HOLY – Novena Day 6

Today we pray with THOMAS KEN (1637-1711)

Thomas KenBorn at Little Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, Thomas Ken was for a time tutor at Oxford, before his ordination in the Church of England in 1662. After serving in a number of parishes, he became Prebendary of Winchester, and chaplain to the Bishop. During this time he began to write the hymns for which he is best remembered, including ‘Awake my soul and with the sun’, for using in the morning, and ‘Glory to thee, my God, this night’ for the evening. In 1680 King Charles II appointed Ken one of his chaplains. Although popular with the King, Ken refused to provide accommodation for Nell Gwynne, the King’s mistress, in his house in Winchester. In spite of (or maybe because of) Ken’s conscientiousness, Charles appointed him Bishop of Bath and Wells. Among his first duties as a Bishop in 1685 was to minister to the King on his death-bed. In 1688 Ken was among the group of Bishops imprisoned by King James II for their refusal to read the Declaration of Indulgence which he regarded as compromising the position of the Church of England. He and his fellow Bishops were acquitted, but when Parliament replaced James with William of Orange and Mary, his wife, Ken refused to take a fresh oath to the new King and Queen. So he was deprived of his see, thus joining the ranks of the Non-Jurors. He retired to Longleat House in Somerset, and died in 1711.

For today’s reading, psalm and prayers, click here.

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