Bicentennial Poem


Salem Congregrational Chapel

Martin Top, Rimington

1816 – 2016


The ancient sundial tells us that

“Time flies swift away”

And two hundred years have brought us

to this very special day.

A day of glad rejoicing – of Thankfulness

and praise;

we meet in fellowship and love -

our hearts and voices raise.


In days long gone, men heard the call

To spread the Word of God

and many a lonely track way

and weary mile they trod.

Gathering people about them –

inspiring their faith anew

the seeds of that awesome vision

rooted and strongly grew.

They longed for a chapel – a permanent home

so a piece of land was found

and soon there arose this sacred place

secure upon Holy Ground.

Above the pulpit, high and clear

they placed this fervent prayer

the words still echoing down the years

to all who worship here.


“These walls we to Thine Honour raise

Long may they echo to Thy praise

And Thou, descending fill the place

With choicest tokens of Thy grace.”



And many an eloquent preacher, keeping

Faith with those long gone

has kept alive the Gospel-flame

and passed the message on.

And still, the little organ with

sweet, harmonious note,

blends with the fervent singing

sounding from every throat.

Two hundred years at Salem!

Historic records tell

of families, friends and ministers –

all served this Chapel well.

Through changes and life’s uncertainties

they gave of their very best

and here in the tranquil churchyard

many have found their rest.

So may God’s richest Blessings

Surround our chapel we pray

Look back with Thanksgiving

and forward with Hope –

as “Time flies swift away.”


Christine Thistlethwaite, 2016