In 1765 John Fawcett (1740-1817) took up the post as minister of a Baptist Church in Wainsgate, which is in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. It was not a wealthy, prosperous or prominent place but Fawcett wasn't much concerned. He had a great love for his people, and they had a great love for him too.
Seven years on, his growing family was quickly eating up his small income and he accepted a post at Carter’s Lane in London. This was a church of some repute. The great Dr John Gill had been there, but John Fawcett was beginning to have second thoughts. Reluctant as he was, he thought it was for the best.
His people in Wainsgate besieged him with request to reconsider, but the day came when Fawcett’s furniture was loaded onto the wagons and it was time for his farewell sermon. The service came to an end, as Fawcett went to order the wagons on he was overcome. He couldn’t leave these people, and so he told them he was staying put.
Thrilled, his congregation rushed to help unload the wagons and took his furniture back into his house. He may of been financially worse off, but the bonds of affection were strong indeed.
In order to commemorate the event, Fawcett wrote the hymn: Blest be the tie that binds. Blest indeed.
1 Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love:
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
2 Before our Father's throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
3 We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
4 When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
5 This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way,
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.
6 From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin, we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.