Many of you will have heard by now that Bert Leonard sadly passed away at 7.25am on Sunday 16th November. He had been ill with cancer for some months and spent his final few days in the Sue Ryder home in Nettlebed, where he apparently really perked up and loved the surroundings he was in.
Whilst feeling sad over Bert no longer being with us, it's impossible to think about him for long without smiling at the memories of the fun and mischief he brought into every situation. I think someone got it spot on when they said on Sunday morning he was the Arthur Askey of our church. Somebody else who knew Bert well wrote to me in an email this morning "He certainly was a great bloke. I don't believe that I ever heard him speak a negative word about anyone. He was always such a positive guy, always up, and we can learn a lot from his life". Bert will remain an inspiration to many of us, especially in the challenge to finish well in our Christian life - it was only earlier this year, at the age of 88, that Bert stopped greeting people at the door on Sunday mornings - what an example.
Let's be praying for Bert's family, and for those in our community who I know will be feeling the sadness of him no longer being with us. And let's be thanking God for a life well lived.
We'll let you know as soon as we have details of the funeral, which I know many of you will be very keen to attend.