Dorothy Frances Gurney

English hymnwriter, poet (1858-1932)

Dorothy Frances Gurney (October 4, 1858June 15, 1932) was an English poet and hymnwriter. Though both her father and husband were Anglican priests, Mrs. Gurney became a Roman Catholic (as did her husband) in 1919. The second to last verse of her best-known poem, "God's Garden" is seen everywhere on signs, plaques and other garden ornaments, but few people know its author.

“Originally written in Lord Ronald Gower’s visitor’s book. It was inspired by his exquisite garden at Hammerfield Penshurst.”

From a copy handwritten in England on an envelope circa 1925, and found in a book on the Church of England’s Liberal Evangelicals in 2010.


  • The kiss of the sun for pardon,
    The song of the birds for mirth,
    One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
    Than anywhere else on Earth.
    • "God's Garden" lines 13–16, Poems, by Dorothy Frances Gurney (London: Country Life, 1913).

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