NB: For many years, on my frequent visits to Tamworth, I worshipped with agroup of Christians in a tiny little schoolhouse which had stood, unchanged for decades at Calala on the outskirts of the city.


In a picturesque setting
Flanked by trees so green and cool,
It's foundations steeped in history,
Stands the old country school

Many years have passed since children
Came to learn to read and write,
Now Christians come to learn from God,
Things pleasing in His sight.

Children saluted the flag and paid tribute
To their country and their king;
Now we pay homage to Jesus Christ,
Who is Lord of everything.

Patriotic songs and bushland ballads,
Did childish treble voices raise,
Now we sing the songs of Zion,
As we lift our hearts in praise.

Children here knew discipline
And were taught how to obey;
We strive to do the will of God,
As we read His word and pray.

Children ate a simple lunch,
When grace had been duly said,
We drink from the fountain of life
And eat of the living Bread.

Framed in the window, I see sparrows
Playing in the peppercorn tree;
I know God cares if one should fall
So I know He cares for me.

When I see cattle grazing
My whole being thrills,
For God owns every beast of the field,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.

The blackboard reminds me of errors,
Erased in days of yore;
And how God has removed my transgressions
And will remember them no more.

I would rather worship in that schoolhouse,
Than in any cathedral fair,
There are no spires, no stain-glassed windows,
But God's presence is manifest there.