Monthly Archives: August 2004

Father-in-law has died

In my earlier post “Oh no, not again” I said that we were expecting Peter, my Father-in-law, to pass away soon. Well it has happened and Peter passed away on Thursday last week. The funeral will be this Thursday.

So within 7 months and 2 days our boys have lost 3 grandparents to cancer. What can you say to a son when he says “Will we ever have good times again?” at a time like this?

One thing this does show is how different even very similar experiences of bereavement are. The pain is different each time. The situation and needs are different each time. Yet, we also know that some things are constant and sure – that they are now in a far better place, without pain and enveloped in the love and presence of God – that whatever is happening that love is also for us, whether we are willing to accept it or not.

We want to give thanks for our families, for the care and concern and practical help we are able to give and recieve from each other. But also our thanks to all the church communities that we belong to for their love, prayers and practical care.

Once again, the much maligned British health care system provided loving high quality care, our thanks to all the Doctors, Nurses and others in the Harrow area for all they have done.

Oh no, not again

My Father-in-law had a major operation for cancer of the Colon just over 5 years ago. We are so grateful to the skill and care of so many over these years, but it looks like we are now close to the end of this life for him.

I am fortunate to have married into a loving Christian family and it is showing through in these difficult times.

Last year we were able to celebrate their golden wedding with everyone which was great. In a way typical of himself, Peter said at the time “I did not expect to make it to here”.

To lose one parent to cancer in a year is hard, now we are looking at losing three in 8 or 9 months.

Gearing up

Three weeks to practice gearing up for the “real thing” next year, I am preaching in 3 different churches, one service a week for 3 weeks and the contexts are all completely different. So places to avoid are Redhill Methodist Church 10:30am on the 15th, Tywardreath Methodist Chapel 6:30pm on the 22nd and Crawley Methodist Church 11:00am on the 29th.

At Crawley I will tie in with the Salt theme of Forgivess (from David and Bathsheba), it will be a bit different from “normal” practice with some quiet symbolism, taize chanting and a variety of community prayer styles besides. We will be experimenting with the new moveable Church furniture to make the layout more suitable for a smaller worship service which is what I would expect on a Bank Holiday Weekend – lets hope I am surprised and caught out ;-)

At Tywardreath I am going to be building upon an Ignation style with an end of day spiritual exercise along with Biblical reflection. The theme will be Grace.

As for Redhill, that comes first so I am least prepared ;-) I am waiting to discover what they are doing with their Young People, at least that is my excuse.


Yesterday we collected Andrew from WS2004 an international Scout camp at Ardingly (nice and close to home).

He had a great time – no surprise there, it seems to have been really well organised with lts happing and 2500 other Scouts from 27 countries to meet.

Peter went with his Cub Scout pack for the day on Wednesday and is now very much looking forward to moving upto Scouts in September.

This morning we were joined at Church by 20 or so Scouts from Dresden, Germany who had been at WS 2004 and are now at the local Scout campsite.

Today we take Peter to Cub Camp near Shere in Surrey. So another quiet week – it is amazing how much quieter 2 boys are than 3.

Holiday Fun

Well we have actually been back from our Holiday for a week. Just have not got around to posting on it.

We had nearly 2 weeks away, the first week was on the Bike Culture Week organised by the Company of Cyclists, that is the same holiday as we did last year only this year it was in Pocklington near York.

We had a great week (again), some great cycling. Andrew did approx 250 miles in the week including Wednesday when he and I joined the longer ride of 56 miles. Peter must of done around 100 miles, some on the back of the X2 Tandem, some on the Kettwiesel and some on his mountain bike – that included several days over 25 miles. Stephen used the Trets everyday (apart from a day off on Wednesday). Jane used her new Ridgeback flat barred road bike and I rode the XXL except when riding the X2 tandem with Peter – mostly towing the Trets.

This year we had no punctures (carrying my track pump still seems effective – although we did use it for some other people a few times).

The place was great – Pocklington School with good food, good facilities (nice indoor swimming pool, our boys still had enough energy to have a swim everyday) and even satellite TV so we could watch the Tour de France highlights each night.

As before a lovely and very mixed bunch of people, made loads of new friends as well as seeing old ones from last year.

Got to test ride some nice bikes as well. Alan very kindly let me ride his Thorn Raven for around 5 miles one day while he tried the XXL towing Stephen. It took my bum 2 days to recover so I will stick to recumbents as much as possible. I did get to ride 2 Ratcatchers (one was Mike Burrow’s personal machine) as well, very very nice indeed if somewhat twitchy initially.

At the end of the holiday, Jane and Andrew rode 27 miles to the campsite at Sherrif Hutton where we spent the next week (subject of a 2nd post I guess).