Associate Minister's April 2013 Letter

 

My Godmother’s Funeral

 

It is often intriguing trying to work out what happens simply by chance and what can be put down to God’s will.

Eight years ago my Godmother, Nina Rhydderch, asked me if I would be able to take her funeral when the time came. I happily agreed and made some notes about her wishes and her life story. Then I didn’t think much more because it seemed to be such a long way off.

Now, three months past her 100th birthday, she has died and in accordance with her wishes I am taking the funeral in St Andrews, Chorley-wood where she has been an active member for 64 years. I want to tell you the story of how she came to be my Godmother and how that was a significant part of my being ordained in the Church of England.

It all came about when my parents brought forward their wedding because the place where my mother was living at the time wouldn’t let her have a cat. So, even though my father was a prep school teacher and it was the middle of the term they decided on June 24th 1950. Only problem - nowhere to live. They looked in the Post Office and found that Nina, a widow with three boys, had a room to rent. They got mar-ried in Kingston on Saturday, and then after one night’s honeymoon they moved into Nina’s house in Chorleywood – a 3 bedroomed semi. On the Monday my parents were both back at work. What Nina’s three boys thought about it all I have no idea! Not only did Nina have 3 boys to look after but also my mother’s Cocker Spaniel.

A year later I was born and came home from the hospital to Nina’s house. When it came to my Christening a few months later, Nina was asked to be Godmother. Even though I didn’t know it for years Nina was a strong Christian and took her responsibility as Godmother very seriously. Years later, after a rebellious period I too came to faith through the ministry of St Andrews and realised that it was Nina who had been faithfully praying for me.

I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do when I left university – just believed that I wanted to find God’s will. I certainly would never have applied to be ordained but Nina was praying for me and by a very circuitous route here I am today.

Nina has been faithfully encouraging and help-ing people throughout her life and it is such an honour and a privilege for me now to be able to take her funeral. Daunting too as the church will be packed.

It is only when we look back and see how eas-ily things could have been so different that we can appreciate the hand of God on our lives and say thank you.

 

Christopher Cant


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