This evening I waited for a friend to come in his car to pick me up to go to evening worship together - and I waited...... He is usually so punctual that I decided that he must have told me that he wouldn't be coming tonight and, as time was getting on, I called a taxi.
I have just had a phone call from my Minister to tell me that our friend passed away suddenly at 3.30 this afternoon! He was in church this morning, looking very well and singing lustily in all the hymns (as he always did), so we are all very shocked to hear this sad news - sad for us who will miss him, but a wonderful way to go for him.
It will be a dreadful shock for his daughter and her husband (who since September, newly returned from Kenya where they were Mission Partners, has been the Minister of our Tilehurst Church) and his young grandchildren who are all away on holiday at present.
All in all it has been quite a Sunday! This morning's congregation included a former Deacon and his wife and a couple who (with their family) were stalwarts of the church years ago before they moved to the West Country. I said to them 'It must be 40 years since I had your children in Sunday School' and got the reply 'More than that!' Two of the 'children', married by now, are living in America and Cyprus! There were also a number of people who needed to talk about their own health problems or those of their family, so the after-service coffee time was the busiest I've been for some time.
So it has been a Sunday in which I have experienced most of the emotions!