Ref No
I/F 1025
Hensman, Sidney - Funeral Castor Order of Service 11 Jul 2001

Hensman, Sidney - Funeral Castor Order of Service 11 Jul 2001

The Sentences





Jesu, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high: hide me, O my Saviour, hide till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah, leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenceless head with the shadow of thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in thee I find: raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind. Just and holy is thy name, I am all unrighteousness; false and full of sin I am, thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound, make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of thee, spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.


Opening Prayer and Kyrie Eleison


Lord have mercy upon us Lord have mercy upon us

Christ have mercy upon us Christ have mercy upon us

Lord have mercy upon us Lord have mercy upon us



Lesson: Psalm 121 – Rev John Barley



Gospel: John 14: 1-6; 27 – Theo Hensman







O happy band of pilgrims, if onward ye will tread with Jesus as your fellow, to Jesus as your head!
O happy if ye labour as Jesus did for men; O happy if ye hunger as Jesus hungered then!
The cross that Jesus carried he carried as your due; the crown that Jesus weareth, he weareth it for you.
The faith by which ye see him, the hope in which ye learn, the love that through all troubles to him alone will turn. The trials that beset you, the sorrows ye endure, the manifold temptations that death alone can cure.
What are they but his jewels of right celestial worth? What are they but the ladder set up to heaven on earth?

O happy band of pilgrims, look upward to the skies, where such a light affliction shall win you such a prize!



Priest:     Let us pray

Lord have mercy upon us

All:     Christ have mercy upon us

Priest:     Lord have mercy upon us


Priest:      As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

All:     Our Father, who art in heaven,

            Hallowed be thy name;

            thy kingdom come;

            thy will be done;

            on earth as it is in heaven.

            Give us this day our daily bread.

            And forgive us our trespasses,

            as we forgive those who trespass against us.

            And lead us not in to temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.


Priest:   Rest eternal grant him O Lord,

All:      And let light perpetual shine upon him


Special Prayers:


The Commendation



Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy riven side which flowed, be of sin the double cure: cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Not the labours of my hands can fulfil thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears for ever flow, all for sin could not atone: thou must save, and thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath, when my eyelids close in death, when I soar through tracts unknown, see thee on thy judgement throne; rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.

Priest:   Rest eternal grant him O Lord,

All:      And let light perpetual shine upon him


Priest:   May the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

All:      And rise in Glory Amen



Nunc Dimmittis.

Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:

According to thy word.

For mine eyes hath seen: thy salvation.

Which thou hast prepared: before the face of all people.

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles:

And to be the glory of thy people Israel.


Alfred Sidney Hensman

18th February 1907

4th July 2001


























11th July 2001


The Church of

St Kyneburgha of Castor





“Blessed are dead the indeed, saith the Lord, even so for they rest from their labours.” This quote from the Book of Rev was once one of the most frequently used epitaphs in country graveyards. For me it conjures an image of a country generation for whom life was hard, full of toil, and rarely easy but lived with a quiet faith – a faith that life would be redeemed in the end. And Sid Hensman came from that generation of countrymen, for whom the epitaph seems applicable. Although he was born in1907 at Thornhaugh, he was brought up in a family that was very much in the mould of a patriarchal Victorian family. His father ran the bakery there, but the business included animals, a milk round and eventually the Post Office. While Sid was still very young, he was sent to Stamford as a boarder, with the instructions from his father to a master, “here’s my son, make a man of him.” Sid was well-educated, and well-read, but perhaps rarely had a chance to use it. He went to work at Thornhaugh in the family business, looking after the cows, milking and fodder, but his work took him to Sacrewell Farm, where George Wade was farm manager. Here he was to meet Theo’s mother Catherine Wade. The Wades took up the tenancy of Village farm here shortly after, and in 1930 Sid married Catherine here in this church and they set up home in Village Farm.


Sid lived the life we would expect in a hard-working country family, and he knew more than his fair share of injury and hardship. His wife Catherine died in tragic circumstances while still a young mother, and one of the most important things in his life became the upbringing of their four young children, Theo, Mary, Ruth and Grace. There was very little spare time in those days on a farm, and vegetable gardening and fruit growing took up what time there was. Sid’s youngest child Grace would be seen in the pram, in the fields round the village beside her father as he worked. Sid took great satisfaction in what he could grow, and even after he retired kept allotments; he was also very good at animal husbandry. – Life was a relentless round of early mornings, feeding the animals, working the fields, and then feeding the animals again.


As a person he did not wear his heart, or his faith on his sleeve, but he made sure there was time to say prayers every night with his children, and was Crucifer here for 10 years, while Grandpa Wade was Churchwarden. He was a devout man, in a private way, and in 1947 after he married Ivy, he also became a regular supporter of the Chapel, for she was a Methodist. Sid was hardworking, but also in many respects a private man, his own man, resourceful, independent, not to say stubborn, who retained his pride in bringing up the children and helping keep the farm going. He loved children, and loved especially dearly his great grandchildren. As he grew older and retired he became known as a village character with a dry sense of humour; enjoying the social life of the village and the pub.


But I think that he also had a philosophical bent, perhaps due to his education, which he kept to himself. On the occasions I visited him in hospital he talked at length about William Blake, and especially the legend behind the hymn Jerusalem. Many of you may know that the hymn is based on a West Country legend that Jesus, the Lamb of God, came to England as a child with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea; that as a child Jesus walked on the hills and fields of England’s green and pleasant land; and that after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Joseph returned here with the Holy Grail, used at the Last Supper. The hymn concludes with a prayer that we should rebuild in the Holy City, amongst the dark satanic mills of the industrial revolution. The hymn is full of deep and rich symbolism, about how life could be different, about striving for an ideal, a different sort of society, that things can be better. The hymn and the legend clearly appealed to something deep inside Sid, but also says something about the Christian message of hope and the Kingdom of God.


Today is the feast of St Benedict of Nursia, founder of the great Benedictine monasteries of Europe; his motto was “to work is to pray and to pray is to work.” Sid Hensman certainly worked and he also prayed. It was the resilience of his faith that kept him going in the face of adversity. It was a faith that believed that the Lord would preserve “him in his going out and his coming in” at the last, at the end of his long life. “Blessed are dead the indeed, saith the Lord, even so for they rest from their labours.” For Sid, the fever of life is over, and his work is done. As we heard in our Gospel, and pray in our prayers, the Lord will grant him now, and us in our turn, a holy rest, peace at the last, in a safe lodging in the home of our Lord’s heavenly mansion, reunited with those we love. Rest not just from work, but also peace of mind; for John Newman’s famous prayer, which his grandson Jonathan, will read, is based on our Gospel reading. And the promise is one of peace, that our hearts should not be troubled nor should we be afraid. It is to this Godin this heavenly home that we commend Sid Hensman. May he rest in peace. Amen.