Saturday, 31 May 2014

Our Graham

He's 'fitted a bathroom, re-installed a central heating system, plumbed in a washing machine and dishwasher, installed a stairlift, maintained many cars, baptised, married, buried many people and faithfully preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and now he's 75.'

It was quite a birthday party for 'our Graham', husband, father, grandfather, friend and pastor. He's served in five parishes, including two that we have been members of (in Streatham where Graham was my vicar and in Redhill where I was his).

So many of us there today have had  lives touched by Graham's ministry, and to many of us - although he would find this a strange thought - he is a kind of hero.

It's easy to underestimate the impact of a local church faithfully preaching the Gospel. There was quite a group of us there today who were all members of St James, Streatham in the 1980s. Some are still there and that church continues to flourish, but the rest of us are dispersed around the country, involved in other churches, labouring for the Gospel in different places, and not just nostalgic for those happy days in Streatham, but indebted.

The long term friend who said Grace at today's birthday celebration summed it up when he referred to a 'selfless life.'

That's how Graham and Jill have lived. They have given us an extraordinary model for Christian ministry.

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