Spiritual view: Forty years of caring for God’s people
- Credit: Archant
Thus began the most interesting, fulfilling and exciting life, which still, by God’s grace, continues today.
I couldn’t possibly have imagined the joys and privileges that I was to experience being with the people of Newham on those important days in their lives; the baptisms, weddings and funerals - and the up and downs of everyday life too.
Not to mention becoming chaplain to three Newham Mayors – and to Her Majesty the Queen as well, of course!
I have conducted services in cathedrals and churches for hundreds of people and once or twice, where it was just me and the whole company of Heaven.
As chaplain to the Maternity Hospital, I blessed countless babies of all faiths and none – wanting the best for our children is surely universal – and occasionally I waited with anxious parents as we watched tiny babies use all their might to hold on to life.
I have not officiated at many weddings but each one has been so special – I do so love that moment when the bride draws alongside the groom and they look at each other – it’s a spine-tinging moment for them, and for me.
And what a privilege to commend a soul to God’s safe keeping at their funeral.
- 1 Weather warning issued ahead of expected gale force winds in London
- 2 Man jailed for rape after attacking woman walking back from Canning Town
- 3 First Omicron case reported in Newham
- 4 'Important' to get back to winning ways for West Ham says Lanzini
- 5 12 people wanted after unlinked Newham robberies
- 6 West Ham showed great character and resilience to beat Chelsea says Moyes
- 7 'Extremely violent' Forest Gate robbery filmed by onlookers
- 8 Members of Mali Boys gang jailed for supplying Class A drugs into Essex
- 9 Possible travel disruptions for central London this week
- 10 The gift of giving: Where to donate food across east London this Christmas
I have often said that, talking to the family about someone who’s died, I hear more stories of love than Mills and Boon ever thought of.
And that’s real love, love that keeps on keeping on, often over many years and against all the odds.
At my ordination service, all those years ago, I was told to care for all God’s people in God’s name and I’ve had such a wonderful life doing just that, thank God and thank you, Newham!
• And, if you’d like to hear more, check out our podcast – ‘Oh my Goodness with Aled Jones and Ann Easter’