Going home, moving on (StF 734)

Authors & translators:
Forster, Michael
Composers & arrangers:
Dvorak, Antonin
Composers & arrangers:
Tambling, Christopher
Singing the Faith: 734 (CD30 #10)
STF Number:

Correction to music: Amend music credit to read “from Symphony No.9, From the New World”

Ideas for use


Going home, moving on,
through God's open door.

Michael Forster's text works on many levels, writes Marjorie Dobson. "It can be sung by a congregation, to an individual, in personal meditation, shared in bereavement counselling, or sent to a friend in need of comfort."

And she notes that the tune (a familiar piece of classical music by Dvorak) "carries [the words] safely into the memory bank to be stored for times of reflection and remembrance".

More information

Raised in an Anglican family, the Revd Michael Forster joined the Baptist Church. Following some years as a professional musician, and practising as a musician, he trained for the Baptist ministry.

However, he later transferred into the United Reformed Church and took on a role as a mental health and learning disability chaplain in Leicester.


He was encouraged in his (prolific) hymn writing by Kevin Mayhew, who began publishing Michael's work in 1992 (a collection of thirty hymn texts). 

This led to commissions for further works in a wide variety of genres, including children’s songs and stories, all-age worship, theology, and scripts for stage and radio that were performed widely, including on BBC Radio 4 and at the Royal Albert Hall. Michael died on 23 April, 2023, aged 77. 

Marjorie Dobson wrote about Michael in 2015:

Michael Forster has long experience of chaplaincy work in the field of mental health and learning disabilities, including working with users, carers and staff in palliative care units. His subject knowledge and sensitivity with the language needed to express care within his work shines through this text. "Parting hurts, love protests, pain is not denied" expresses that compassion and understanding so desperately needed when people are hurt and bewildered by bereavement. The comfort given by the assurance that God understands and "Christ has gone before" may prove to be a real blessing to those shaken by the experience.

Read more of Marjorie Dobson's reflections on this hymn in her article for our Hymns and Spirituality series, originally published by the Methodist Recorder.

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