Archive for January, 2012

Bob Russell of Ardleigh Green and Nelmes Church

January 5, 2012

On 18th November, I attended the Thanksgiving Service at Nelmes URC for Bob Russell, who I had counted as a friend for over twenty years. Bob had passed away on 7th November, very shortly after being diagnosed with terminal cancer a few weeks before his eightieth birthday. He was a key elder of Nelmes, and was the church treasurer. He was a talented Lay Preacher – he took his last service at Nelmes on October 2nd – and many churches around here have benefitted from his entertaining and well-thought-through sermons. Bob very much carried his beliefs and faith into practice. He and Enid supported and worked for many things he believed in, including human rights, through Amnesty and Action by Christians Against Torture (ACAT), Citizens Advice, Christian Aid and nuclear disarmament. He was an active supporter of the Labour party. We heard at his service of his work as an insurance surveyor, in Christian CND council and in family life. I remembered that when the Eastern Region of Amnesty held its meeting at Harold Wood Methodist Church, Bob had been the keynote speaker.

I shall miss him as someone to talk to, always wise and understanding. I shall miss his enthusiasm for good beer, and his chuckle when something touched his sense of humour. His family – Enid, his daughters, their husbands and his grandchildren – must miss him much much more. A great man and a great friend much to be mourned but also greatly to be given thanks for.


New Year Resolution

January 5, 2012

This blog has been inactive for a number of months now. I have thought about a number of potential posts, but have not got round to doing them. So I’m relaunching it – if that isn’t too pompous a word for it.

At church on New Years Day, our minister Phil Nevard, asked us about New Year resolutions. The congregation didn’t really want to admit to any. Phil reminded us, that he had announced to us two new year resolutions some years ago: to learn to ride a motor-cycle and to learn something new. He had fulfilled them within the year. The motorcycle is used for journeys formerly done by car – which fits in well with the church as an Eco-Congregation.
He went on to advocate renewing our Faith from time to time. Faith learned decades ago in childhood doesn’t fit us in our later form any more than our old clothes do. Also the external world changes and this means that our faith has to encompass new issues.

So, post church on Sunday morning, my new New Year Resolution is to blog more frequently, to share with you my thoughts and reactions. And also to share my experiences outside Harold Wood, which often affect how I see Harold Wood. I’ll have to learn how to convert my thoughts in to blogs more quickly – that would be a new skill for me. I can’t aspire to the promptness of Jonathan Fryer , who once went home from a funeral of a mutual friend and had an appreciation on his blog the same evening.

So shortly, I will be looking back over 2011 and introducing new issues. From time to time I’ll go back farther and call such reflections BackBlog – I’ve got a lot of past to reflect upon.