Fr David's sermon
21st June 2004
To begin an epitaph from a C4th gravestone from Asia Minor, one I have shared with many of you before: -
'Here sleeps the blessed Chione who has found Jerusalem for she prayed much.'
It is a touching thought that the memory of a peasant woman's deep faith in God has survived all those long centuries until today. We know nothing else about Chione, only that her neighbours were so impressed with her faith that they were sure she was now in the heavenly Jerusalem.
That epitaph seems a good one for Gwen; we can be sure that she too has found Jerusalem for she prayed much. Gwen was a person of deep faith, a faith that found its expression here at St. Matthew's for over 30 years.
Gwen moved here in 1971 when she retired from Bassett's Sweet Factory. Prior to that date she lived in Wood Green Essex, having been born in the very different world of 1911. Like many women of her generation she cared for her elderly mother, remaining single all her life. She remained close to her brothers and sisters Les, Jim, Joan and Eileen. She was fond of her nephews and nieces, Jim, Leslie, Janet, Janet, Margie and Derek and through them her great and great-great nephews and nieces too. She once paid a six-month visit to her Australian relatives, going by sea but declined to emigrate herself.
So what of her faith that sustained her going into a positive and fulfilled old age? I've thought of three things for us to give special thanks to God for as we remember Gwen.
For our reading, prompted by Phyllis, I have chosen St. Paul's hymn of love from I Corinthians Chapter 13. We can be sure that Gwen's faith, hope and charity have now found their fulfilment. Childish things have come to an end. Now she can see fully, face to face, now she knows fully even as she has been fully known.
Thanks be to God.
Return to homepage
Comments about this site or problems? Contact Webmaster (Colin Richards) at email@example.com
Last updated 22/06/04 07:00 Author: David Shepherd