As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (b. Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1818; Londonderry, Ireland, 1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal. In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland. She showed her concern for disadvantaged people by traveling many miles each day to visit the sick and the poor, providing food, warm clothes, and medical supplies. She and her sister also founded a school for the deaf. Alexander was strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement and by John Keble's Christian Year. Her first book of poetry, Verses for Seasons, was a "Christian Year" for children. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandment… Go to person page >
The faithful men of every land. Cecil F. Alexander, ne'e Humphreys. [Holy Catholic Church.] First published in her Hymns for Little Children, 1848, No. 16, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed with the words from the Apostles' Creed, “The Holy Catholic Church." In many instances where the hymn is in common use the following stanzas are omitted (iv., v.):—
”All members of one body vast
With Jesus for their Head,
And Sacraments whereby their souls
Are born again and fed; "
And Bishops good to order them,
And Priests to train and teach,—
This is the Holy Church, wherein
We have our places each."
The hymn in full or in part is in several collections.