Thursday, February 12, 2009


I attended Fr Ken Jordan's funeral Eucharist this afternoon. St German's was nearly full - over 300 people there at my guess. There were a score of clergy concelebrating, and almost as many again scattered among the congregation. Having been 20 years as Vicar of St Mary's, a leader in outreach to Cardiff's homeless people, and Scout Chaplain, he was a well known public figure, and a priest held in high regard by colleagues.

Diocesan education officer, Edwin Counsell, who had served his first Curacy under Fr Jordan at St Mary's gave the eulogy which, whilst it was most respectful and gave due honour to the departed, was also very funny, and provoked gales of laughter in fond recognition of the man. Edwin is a bright spark - a hard working quick intellect, and also a very capable comedian. This I discovered for the first time when he presented a potentially stolid report reviewing church schooling in the Province to the diocesan conference last autumn, and had the audience in fits of laughter. His tribute was a ray of light in a sad day under covercast skies.

We sang 'Thine be the glory' as the coffin was carried out of the church by Fr Ken's four sons.
The last line of the last verse inevitably raised a smile.

"Bring us safe through Jordan, to thy home above."

At exactly the same hour, the funeral of Edith Cowley was taking place at St Saviour's Splott a mile away. A much loved local eccentric, her eulogy was given by a former Curate of St James, Nick Sandford, one of the clergy Edith liked to spoil. According to those present his tribute was also hilarious, and there were lots of people there to say a fond farewell to one of Cardiff's memorable post-war characters, a devout churchgoer to the end of her days.

May they both rest in peace.

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