This week, a good friend and comrade slipped out of life.
The end was peaceful with all his family present. Only a few short weeks ago his friends and family celebrated his birthday. It was a warm event full of companionship, laughter and a joyous revival of happy memories. He had accepted the inevitability of an early death with great forbearance, strengthened by his strong Christian faith. He had a rich fulfilling life of service as a prison chaplain in Cardiff and North Wales. Forget the stereotype of a doctrinaire humourless vicar. He had experienced all that life has to offer from its spiritual heights to its disagreeable depths. He remained firmly optimistic, practical, idealistic and a convinced socialist.
There was no hint of resentment against the dreadful disease that was to cruelly shorten his life. He planned his burial spot, noting there was a bench nearby when visitors could rest and remember him. His family and those who shared his prison work will at a future event reveal to us full accounts of a great life, richly lived, in the service of others.