An Appreciation by Fr Piers
When I came to All Saints’, Bob was not one of the first people who made himself known to me, because that was not his way. However, I gradually came to discover him, because, week after week, he would be there in the vestry after the service, helping to sort out the collection.
His was an unobtrusive but important role in the Church—that of Recorder, keeping track of pledged giving. You don’t want someone for that job who will make a lot of noise about it; people might be afraid, in that case, that their confidential pledges might become known. Bob just got on with it, and stayed in the background.
It was a great blow for him, and one which he took very hard, when he was severely disabled by a stroke in July 1995. He continued to be—or to appear—optimistic; and, although medical opinion was that little or no recovery was possible, he professed never to lose hope that he would walk again.
I very occasionally saw him in a rather cross frame of mind— usually when things were particularly unbearable; but mostly, he displayed great patience and fortitude in bearing his illness. Mentally, he remained alert and aware: an assiduous reader of The Times, he would comment acutely on current events. On a good day, he would chat with other residents at Saint David’s, and with the staff, and with visitors; and he generally enjoyed anything which maintained an atmosphere of normality in his life.
Outings were quite an undertaking; but when one was possible— whether it was a holiday in South Wales, a day at home for Christmas, or a Lent Lunch in the Parish—it was a real event for him, and gave him a lift.
It was a privilege to know him and to minister to him; and he taught me much about the Christian virtues of humility and patience.
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.