Poems & proses from Rev Ken Parkhurst


Quietly with KWP

A selection of poetry and prose written by


And published in The Beacon during his ministry at Goodmayes 1962 – 1972



By way of explanation

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a little man.  Everyone loved him and everywhere he went he took a certain presence with him.  One Indian who met him said: “It seems that every time I see you – you represent God to me.”

Many people felt like this, including the children and the teenagers.  But the teenagers loved to tease him and one day, a very good-looking, intelligent one said to him: “Who is this person that keeps writing in your church magazine – this KWP?  I see his name on nearly every page”.

Now this stuck in the little man’s mind – and everywhere he went he could hear the voice of a little bird saying: “Kwp, Kwp” and he laughed to himself and said: “Maybe it does get a bit tedious – same old thing – same old person” and he made up a little rhyme …


THE MYSTERY OF KWP (to be pronounced KWIRP)

Who is it, Mr. Editor,

That will so oft usurp

The pages of your magazine

And sign himself as K.W.P.”?


Pray tell this tedious little bird

To moderate his chirp,

It’s getting so monotonous

To read his monthly “KWP”.


I do not normally employ

A vulgar term like “twirp”,

But that’s an apt description of

Contributors like “KWP”.


… and he sent it to the editor, who duly published it in the Summer Holiday Number of the Beacon, 1966.  But the misguided editor, because it would have lost its humour had he put the name of the author, used that wellknown literary term “Anon”.  This caused quite a furore at the time because not everyone saw the joke or realised that “happy is the man who can laugh at himself” .. yet what a debt we – who have read so many words from his gifted pen – owe to K.W.P.

How difficult to put our deep sense of appreciation into words!  One contributor wrote a poem about our Minister for publication in the Beacon some years ago.  This is how it ended …

“Most blessed is he, so meek in his ways,

So ready to serve for all of his days.

There’s many would say, since he’s come to their door:

They’ve now seen the Master as never before.”




Under the Cross

I WAS IN ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL when I saw three young men who I soon realised were Japanese.  I had never seen them before but their faces reminded me of grim days when the only Japanese I saw were soldiers sent savagely against us in some ghastly jungle battle.

How moving to see Japanese men under the cross in St. Paul’s.  I just had to speak to them – and we had a delightful talk for a few unforgettable minutes.  Somehow this happy encounter had a healing effect on my spirit and seemed to transform sad memories and heal old wounds.

At last, face to face, we stood together under the reconciling Cross.  I had always longed for something like this and now today it has happened.  Their beaming faces, their friendly handshake, and their warm greeting as they asked me if I had been to Japan will remain in my mind as the cleansing of the Holy Spirit.  For a long time I shall see them … under the Cross…

And that is how we should see one another in this divided and war-torn world – under the Cross, under the costly love of Christ.

Isn’t that what the Church really is.  Prayer together under the Cross, seeing on another in its healing light?




If prayer and practice in your life are threaded

And if to each you give its rightful worth,

If you can be big-hearted, not big-headed,

A citizen of heaven and of earth,

If you are with your Lord as well as for Him,

With men involved yet with Him keeping tryst,

Given to costly tasks while you adore Him –

Well then, my son, you’ll be a ‘man in Christ’.




A hymn written for the Service of Dedication at the Opening of the Cordell Hall on 28th September 1968 and sung to the tune Richmond


“FORWARD IN FAITH” Thy servants went

Whose labours now we reap.

Their love they gave, their strength they spent,

Help us such faith to keep.


“Forward in faith” though testing days

May on the threshold wait,

Ourselves in gratitude and praise

To humbly dedicate.


“Forward in faith” new tasks to dare,

New duties to discern,

A wider love, a deeper care

From Thee, O Christ to learn.


“Forward in faith” not to offend

The questing mind of youth

But to companion as a friend

The young who search for truth.


“Forward in faith” that never knows

Worship and life apart,

But stirring kindliness that flows

To cheer the lonely heart.


“Forward in faith”, the fruit of grace

That those who mingle here

May find anew a trysting-place

Where Christ Himself draws near.


“Forward in faith” with glad accord

To ventures yet unknown.

We have Thy promise, Living Lord,

And shall not go alone.








Whom we see in the Grace of Jesus

At the cost of the Cross:


Help me so to pray and worship

That fired by Your Love

I may forget myself in serving You

And Your People of all kinds in the world;

And taking my Master’s Yoke of humility and true concern upon me,

Be used with my fellow church-members

To express more relevantly for a changing world

The unchanging reality of Christ Crucified and Risen.







Page last updated: 5th March 2018 2:11 PM