One of the greatest privileges in being a Minister is that of conducting Funeral and Thanksgiving Services for those who have died. As you might imagine, it can be a hard and painful task but the privilege of celebrating a life and of commending that life to the eternal mercy of God is indeed a high and holy one.
Each year at our AGM we stand in silent respect as the names of our church members and friends who have died during the past year are read aloud and, as a Church Meeting, we give thanks for their lives. After some discussion, the Elders’ meeting agreed that it would be fitting to include these names, plus a few brief words on each person’s particular contribution to church life in our June Newsletter. This way, we will keep a written record of each generation of church members and the loving respect in which we hold them.
This year, then we remember with thanksgiving:
Margaret Robinson, who had been a member of our church since 1960. Margaret was at one time responsible for typing up the Church Newsletter and was a long-term helper, then member of Friendship Club.
Rosemary Booth, who had been a church member since 1994. Rosemary helped with our Toddler Groups for many years, in particular serving the refreshments.
Lizy Rugman, who had been a regular attender at worship and friend of our church since 2007. With great joy and courage, she joined our Ad Hoc Choir for Christmas 2017, despite suffering the effects of a malignant brain tumour.
Marie Moore, who had been a church member since 1960. Marie was one of the founders of our Friendship Club and a leader for many years.
Diana Campbell, who had been a church member since 1959. Diana had been a Sunday School leader and trainer of other leaders; she was Leader of our Friendship Club for many years; much involved in catering and in amateur dramatics; and set up frequent Bookstalls in aid of the charity, Mercy Ships.
Diane Stephen, who had been a church member since 1969. Diane had helped in the Sunday Morning Creche, the mid-week Toddler Group and our youth work. Plus, she helped with Traidcraft and with flower distribution.
Ann Mitchell, who became a church member in 2013. She was a member of our Friendship Club and her particular contribution was her knitting! She made blankets, shawls, toys and Christmas angels for many people and good causes.
Doreen Wilton, who had been a church member since 2005. Doreen was also a member of our Friendship Club.
Menna Evans, who had been a member of the church since 1984. Menna helped to serve refreshments at the Toddler groups, took part in many musical activities, was a member of one of our Housegroups and was also, for many years, a member of the Prayer Chain
There will undoubtedly be some of you who can remember more about these friends and the service they offered to the work of God at St John’s Church. But it is hoped that these brief details will enable us to remember them with love and to find inspiration in their example.
Let us pray ........ Almighty and most merciful Father, all human creatures belong to You. You are their Creator, Preserver, Saviour. You will be their everlasting refuge and home. From you they came and to you they return. In their days of feebleness and strength; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their follies and in their virtues; in their triumphs and in their failures; in their transgressions and in their faithfulness; in all times of their wealth and in all times of their adversity; in life and in death; these children are Yours. So take these souls which You have made for Yourself and may your everlasting mercy cover us all. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
With Love and Good Wishes to you all,