It’s a glorious morning – thank God for some sunshine and heat, I was beginning to think that Spring had been forgotten. It’s also Chelsea this week, so I hope you are all finding inspiration for your gardens and getting into them for a bit of judicious pruning.
We will be working in the church yard doing a bit of pruning and weeding on Saturday 25 May 10am – 1pm, I do hope you can join us. It’s good to give Hounslow a helping hand and it is a sign of our commitment to the local area, it’s good to be able to keep Old Chiswick clean and tidy.
We had a theft from the back of church on Sunday morning, so this is just a reminder to keep your belongings safe and with you at all times.
As many of you will know Malcolm Smith will be leaving us in June, moving up to the Midlands to be closer to his family. I will be very sad to see Malcolm go. He has been an incredible support. I’m not sure where I, or this church community would be without Malcolm’s involvement. Malcolm was churchwarden for over six years following the untimely death of Francis Kinghorn. A PCC member, a member of the choir and serving team, a reader, intercessor and an amazingly urbane preacher at the 10.30am Parish Mass. It’s safe to say Malcolm has been involved in every aspect of our churches life and we thank him for his commitment, advice, and support. He goes to pastures new with our love and my blessing.
The June edition of ‘the Chiswick’ glossy magazine has just dropped through the letterbox of our home and I see on page 10 an article entitled ‘The Circle of Life’. It’s all about a ‘new family fun day at Mortlake Crematorium’ on Saturday 29th June, which apparently hopes to get us talking about death. Now the crematorium is not the first place I’d think of taking the family for a fun day out. We’re told that there will be a wide range of coffins and a selection of hearses on display. You can also have a tour and see what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. However, the emphasis will be on informality. ‘Visitors will have an opportunity to talk openly about death and dying, while sampling some delicious cakes at the pop-up Death Cafe’. Bereavement charities will also be on hand for those who might want to discuss the death of a loved one.
As part of my training for ordination I spent a whole day at Mortlake Crematorium, learning about how the systems and procedures work, and also observing a number of very different funeral rites. I found it very useful from a professional perspective. I can see some benefit from opening the crematorium to public view, which will be informative and dispel some myths about what goes on there. Sadly, however, there is no mention at all of any input from those who officiate at funerals, representatives of faith communities or those from a secular background, at this fun day out. So do take advantage of this open day if it interests you, but please also remember that your parish clergy are always willing to discuss matters related to death and bereavement with you. We are also very willing to help you prepare a draft your own funeral service, which experience tells us can be very helpful for whoever is dealing with your affairs when the time comes.
With every blessing