Friday 20 February 2009

Proverbs 10:7

 dbc_ I just had an email from my good friend Christine, current Church Secretary at Dereham, telling me of the death of someone from Norfolk. Ivan Stroulger was a wonderful man,in his late 80s, who had served his Saviour for many, many years. He'd also been involved in church life in Manchester - in my friend Rachel's home church. [It is odd how the cogs of Christian Fellowship turn together like this, and we can find links between Norfolk, Manchester and Leicester!]

During my Dad's ministry, Ivan was Church Secretary, and always a positive support and encouragement. His sons too have gone on to serve God - Alan, his oldest, being a Baptist Minister.

But the other thing about Ivan was hisHobbies-logo lifetime of working for "Hobbies". This amazing little company started in 1895 producing fretwork machines and kits for the 'home hobbyist' to produce all sorts of useful things.

In the 1930's, as a boy, my Dad took the magazine each week - and my grandfather bound them into books [which I still have!] Until Dad went there as Pastor in 1965, all we knew about Dereham was "It is the place where Hobbies is" - and Dad was thrilled to discover that his Church Secretary was a key man in the company! Then the company had problems - and Ivan brought them out, and ran the company as a family business till his retirement. The company is still going - although the weekly magazine has been replaced by an annual catalogue and online website.

ducks Ivan supplied Dad with the plans for building Liz & Steph's Dolls' House, and for a wonderful set of waddling ducks, and a toy Land Rover towing a caravan

land rover





You can still get these, and other fabulous plans and kits from the company. I hope that more people will start building their own lasting wooden toys instead of buying plastic tat!

Ivan was a great man, over six foot tall, with a strong faith in Jesus, and a diligent and conscientious attitude towards his work and his witness. Would that there were more saints like him, to be Church Secretaries today! [actually, at the moment, the post is still vacant here, and I'd settle for a Church Sec even half as good!!]

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