Friday, 9 February 2018

Twenty Years Ago...

On February 9th, 1998, my Dad died, quite suddenly, of a heart attack. His life, and his strong faith had a profound influence on me - I am not sure a day goes by when I don't think of him. I was looking through a box of photos recently - and came across the report of his death from the local paper.
 I just love the fact that the article isn't headed 'local minister dies suddenly' or 'death of well known Baptist' - it just says "Passionate Preacher Stanley dies"
That was my Dad - who had been known since his teens for being passionate about preaching the Good News of Jesus, and who spent much of his life working as a caring, committed pastor.
Even now, I meet people who remember him, and speak of him with such affection.
Last week, Bob was preaching - and quoted something he recalled Dad saying in a sermon. The Study Bible I use when I'm preparing sermons is one he gave me on my birthday in 1991. 
I am grateful that Dad lived long enough to see his three grand-daughters, of whom he was so proud. 

On his 70th birthday, we all had a family lunch together in Norwich. I cannot now remember what prompted this characteristic gesture, and warm smile - but I am glad somebody took a photo.
At his Thanksgiving Service [for which he left comprehensive instructions, including a request for Bob to be the preacher] the church was packed, downstairs, and up in the gallery - people had come from all over the country to be there. 
Dad lived his life to the full, to the very last minute. He was utterly devoted to Mum, since they met in church when they were 15 - and in the seven years after her death he missed her so much. He loved his family, his Church fellowship, his life in Norfolk  - and most of all he loved his Saviour - as Bob said in that service "Whenever he said 'Jesus' his whole face lit up"...what a great epitaph!


  1. A wonderful memorial for your Dad. I remember when my father died (the local GP) we arrived at the church, and the Minister came out to meet us. "Don't be surprised by the number of people..." he warned us. Like at your father's funeral, the church was packed, with people standing at the back. He was a well-loved and very well respĂȘcted member of the community. I'm crying as I type this, 27 years on...
    I always have a lump in my throat when I watch "Call the Midwife" as Dr Turner reminds me of my father, not only by his compassionate nature but also in looks.
    I am proud to be his daughter (not Dr Turner's daughter, you understand!!)

  2. small world!! When we moved to Norwich in February 1996 John was the minister at Old Costessey Baptist Church and he was introduced to a gentleman to be his mentor as this was his first pastorate. This man was your dad! I remember visiting him at Eckling Grange. Unfortunately the ministry at Old Costessey didn't work out which was no reflection on your dad and we didn't keep in touch with your dad. Lovely that you have such good memories of him.

  3. What a superb way to remember your father. Cheers

  4. A lovely memorial to your father, Angela.


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