Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Thanks to all the people I’ve known

CAN we celebrate our lives while we are still alive without embarrassing

Waking on Thursday, December 6, 2018, the morning after my cancer consultant had told us that the only treatment now available was pain-killing, I thought how fortunate I had been in my 85-year life with my birth-family, two late wives, four children and eight grandchildren — but then also the wonderful range of people who have been with me in all my activities.  

The NHS did well controlling my prostate cancer after it had spread to my liver but they could do no more beyond pain control. 

My GP has set me up for “do not resuscitate” so that I am not just kept alive when I cannot continue to be active.

My pain control is basically morphine on the advice of Sobell House (NHS Respite). I hope I can die at home as Barbara and Jill have done.

My life, like most other people’s, has been far more than just a family. Thirty years as a worker-priest in the Pressed Steel car factory, which is now the home of the Mini.

At the same time being a member of Oxford City Council for 25 years, Oxfordshire County Council for 15 years and chairman of Pressed Steel’s Transport & General Workers Union for 17 years. Then Oxford  diocesan director of education for 12 years and, having moved from Cowley to Watlington, on its parish council for 30 years. 

All of these roles have involved me with great numbers of people, who have contributed to my life.

My son Hugh is now researching and writing about my life. This has brought home to me the 56 years of support I received from my far cleverer wife Barbara.

And, of course, I am extremely fortunate in being able to continue to  take services, to be active on Watlington Parish Council and as an accredited repesentative for Unite, the union’s faithworkers’ branch, to manage our family flat, to drive and to live independently with only two nights of my life in hospital.

As a lifelong Christian, I love thinking of God’s power creating not just the world but also the universe and modern science and technology, including my iPhone and past cancer treatment.

The Love of God flowing through us all, when we don’t stop it, enables so much good to be done and, as Rowan Williams writes: “The death of Jesus (on the cross) breaks the chain between evil actions and evil consequences… the Resurrection is neither an optional extra nor a happy ending, it is the inescapable bursting through of the essential reality of who and what Jesus is... belief in the Resurrection is what makes the Church more than just a Jesus of Nazareth Society.”

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say