Sharing with and saying goodbye to friends

On Monday March 6th Pamela Cundall came and joined us for lunch and my beloved made his version of kedgeree with smoked haddock, peppers, mushrooms and eggs and it was delicious.  It was lovely to have Pamela over for lunch.  Her husband Dr David Cundall, a retired Paediatrician was over in Nigeria with some other health workers training nurses in the care of babies.  He has been working for some time on fundraising and training midwives in the care of newborns. They are self funded and he spends 3 weeks at a time there.

On Tuesday March 7th we had the thanksgiving service for the life of the Reverend Gordon Lister at Wesley Chapel. Our minister Rev Christine Gillespie gave the tribute for Gordon, who had been a supernumerary minister at our chapel for a number of years; he was a former minister at Wesley Chapel. He had been concerned about the homeless problem in Harrogate and he had initiated work to set up a hostel for the homeless. The work with the homeless has since gone from strength to strength and our old caretaker’s house is used as a drop in providing advice, showers, and meals for the homeless who come our way during the week.  There is work also besides the hostel to make sure no one has a second night out.  Gordon has always been supportive of the vulnerable and he always had time for everyone, asking after people who could not attend church.  Having been widowed earlier he remarried when he met Barbara more than 22 years ago.  They met on a modern theology course he had taken after he retired from full time ministry.  They shared the love of music and playing the piano as well as their faith as progressive Christians following the way of Jesus.  We sang ‘How do Thy mercies close me round!’ a hymn by Charles Wesley I had not sung before.  He wished that we could sing more of Charles Wesley’s hymns.  The Rev John Sadler, a Supernumerary minister, who had found Gordon a great support in his former ministry in Harrogate gave a tribute. Mike Greenburg, a local preacher and one of our stewards was a great admirer of Gordon and also gave his tribute to him, as did our supernumerary minister Rev Trevor Dixon who had found Gordon an inspiration too. The Bible readings were from John 14.1-6 & 27. Our minister led the prayers and the Lord’s Prayer.  We sang, ‘Angel voices, ever singing’ before the closing prayers and the benediction.  It was a moving tribute to a gifted man who we all miss very much.

On Thursday we were at the Guild and the speaker, David Wilberforce the organist at the United Reform Church gave a tribute to Gordon Lister. He remembered a Sankey evening when the circuit choir had led it.  Apparently Gordon thought most of the circuit ministers had ‘foot and mouth disease’ as they didn’t visit and couldn’t preach!!  He had wondered about how the new hymnbook of our church, ‘Singing the Faith’ dare alter the words of old hymns!

David was introducing us to different tunes for the hymns, such as ‘O God beyond all praising’; some tunes came from opera, Gilbert and Sullivan and folk songs.  We sang the hymn to the tune by Gustav Holst.  Then we sang, ‘Fill your hearts with joy and gladness’ by Timothy Dudley Smith to the tune of ‘Ode to Joy.’  The next hymn was ‘God is our refuge and strength’, which was based on the first three verses of Psalm 46.  ‘For the beauty of the earth by F.S Pierpont was sung to the tune Bizet by Pearl Fisher’s duet.   ‘Glory to God in the highest’, Gloria was set to a traditional Welsh melody.  The Hope of Glory is a paraphrase of Psalm 19, ‘The heavens declare thy glory, Lord,’ by Isaac Watts to the tune by Joseph Haydn, from the Oratorio of the creation; the heavens are telling the glory of God. Charles Wesley wrote, ‘Behold the servant of the Lord!’ and it was set to the duet by Mozart from the Magic flute.  Wesley’s hymn had 16 Biblical quotations from Hosea, all the gospels and some epistles; he wrote a scriptural hymn, a prayer about God.  We then sang, ‘The God of love my shepherd is’ based on Psalm 23;  written  by George Herbert and the music by A Sullivan’s Iolanthe, the Lord Chancellor’s song.  We then had a prayer of thanksgiving and we sang, ‘Thine be the glory’ set to the German Advent hymn by Handel from Judas Maccabeus round about the starry throne. The words were by Edmond Budry about Easter faith.   It was a lovely interesting afternoon.

On Friday I helped at the Acorn Centre and was pleased to see the progress being made by some students.  I always enjoy seeing everyone!

On Saturday I had a relaxing morning after walking Piper and I enjoyed relaxing with my beloved every evening, some evenings we enjoyed watching television, listening to music and watching DVDs and at the weekend.

Beth came round on Saturday and she and I took both the dogs out and spent some time at the local park as we had a drink and a chat, before she took Piper out for a long walk.

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