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The words of the hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus" were written by Banbridge man and church minister Joseph Scriven.
He was actually in Canada when his mother was unwell and feeling down, so he wrote her a poem to cheer her up - it found its way into the local paper.
The story goes that it was used as the inner wrapping of a gift sent to someone in New York, and the person who opened the package happened to glance through the pages. He was so taken that he saw to it that it was published. The music was added later, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history!

A very nice memorial garden has been set up in his name in Downshire Place, Banbridge - well worth a visit.

What a friend we have in Jesus
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear -
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged:
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful,
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness -
take it to the Lord in prayer!

Are we weak and heavy laden,
burdened with a load of care?
Jesus only is our refuge,
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms He'll take and shield you,
you will find his comfort there.

Words: Joseph Scriven, 1819-1886
adapted Peter J. Horrobin, b.1943
and Greg P. Leavers b.1952
Music: Charles Crozat Converse (1832 - 1918)