Thursday, March 04, 2010

Moving on

Archdeacon David Lee stood in for me at the lunchtime Eucharist today, enabling me to officiate at the funeral of the mother of one of the St John's Priory Headquarters staff. This entailed a journey over to the Gwent Crematorium in Croesyceiliog, and a reception afterwards in the Rhiwderin Inn on then outskirts of Bassaleg. It was a beautifully sunny if chilly day, and a countryside, although still wintry, looked as if was about to break out into spring, with crocusses in abundance, though very few open daffodils outside. I was given a lift back to Cardiff through the lanes over Caerphilly mountain, via Rudry and Lisvane. The views of the city were uplifting, after the sadness of sharing a bereavement.

Then at six o'clock, we received Margaret Kemp's body into St John's overnight, and I celebrated a requiem Eucharist with over thirty friends and family present. The church was still awash with the scent and colour of the hundreds of daffodils brought in for Monday's Mayoral service. We decided to leave them in place as a special tribute to Margaret. We knew she'd delight in them. Afterwards someone reflecting on her passing spoke unwittingly of the continuing decline of the congregation. Not, so I had to say, with three adults and two children confirmed in the past six months and several other newcomers joining us regularly. The growth is not remarkable, but it has been steady and slow, and more than the net losses of people through death or moving on. I'd like to think this will continue for my successor also, as I move on.

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