[Today’s post is by John H.Parker, co-author of the newly released book, Abide With Me, published by New Leaf Press. This account is from the travels of John and his co-author/photographer, Paul Seawright.]

The afternoon in 2006 when we reached Lower Brixham on the coast of Devon, the sea was quiet and calm. We drove to Berry Head, now a hotel. Built as a hospital but never used as one, it was where Henry Lyte lived for 23 years as the rector of the town’s All-Saints Church.

By the time we checked in the afternoon was getting late, so Jill and Paul and I went out to watch the sunset and take some pictures. Berry Head is on Torbay (p. 20 in the book) and is a gorgeous setting as you face west.

Brixham is pretty far south, and—contrary to what people would expect—palm trees grown here. Next to one tree is a bench facing west, and today there was a solitary man sitting there watching the sun drop over the shore across the bay. He had his legs crossed, and one arm was draped over the back of the bench.

Paul went behind the bench to shoot a picture while we watched. As nearly as I could tell, the man never knew about that shot. Now his picture (page 20 again) is in 10,000 books distributed from America to Australia. I wonder if he’s ever seen it and now knows that his image has become one of the favored pictures in the primary photographic book on British hymns?