Wednesday, 3 February 2010

An Anglican Canon sends sad news

I have known Russell since we met as students 46 years ago. He is a close and very dear friend. After being ordained to Anglican ministry, he gained parish experience through postings as a curate. He then became a University Chaplain, first at Durham and then at Leicester. For many years he was Training Officer for the Diocese of Bath and Wells and a Canon of Wells Cathedral He is well known and loved as a Retreat Director. I doubt he will give up that work completely even though he retired only a year ago. Russel has never married, devoting his whole life to his work, to his mother and to his many, many friends., among whom I am privileged and proud to be numbered.

Russel's mother Joyce has also been a dear friend since 1964 and who showed me unstinting and tireless compassion and Christian love during a very dark period of my own life. I knew before Christmas that Joyce was very ill. Nevertheless, it was still a terrible shock to receive news from Russell this morning that she died on January 25th. The news came by post because he had tried to contact me via my old, now cancelled freeserve address. He tells me: "Joyce's Requiem Mass will be on February 9 at 1.45pm at St. Mary's Church, Stanwell, Middlesex." He knows I will not be able to attend but asks for my prayers. He continues that after Christmas Joyce had refused any further chemo or invasive treatment. "She knew what she wanted and trusted that God would call her in His own good time."

I would be most grateful if you would offer a prayer for Joyce and for her grieving Russell.

In the meantime I don't intend to post here again until Friday.

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