A funeral amongst friends

Dec 28th, 2007 | By | Category: Ministry

I used to be particularly be particularly fond of Postman Pat stories. I remember one day when the children were small there was a Postman Pat video playing, but the person who had put it on had gone off to some other amusement; I realized I was sat watching Postman Pat by myself.

Postman pat does his rounds in the mythical village of Greendale, set in the heart of the English Lake District. I discovered from one story that Postman Pat’s name is Pat Clifton, not a lot of people know that.

I wondered what it was that made this animated character on children’s television interesting and decided it was life in Greendale.

Greendale seems a perfect sort of place to live. It is a little community where everyone knows each other and where they all help each other and where they all care for each other when something goes wrong. There is a village school where the children seem happy and secure. There is a bobby on the beat who knows everything that is going on. There are little farms around where people can still earn a living. There is a post office at which everyone calls, and a little parish church where the vicar is the absent-minded Reverend Timms.

Greendale seems perfect; things go wrong sometimes and people get cross sometimes; but there is a community in which everyone has a place.

There was a Greendale moment at our church this morning as more than three hundred people from Ballybrack gathered to bid farewell to a man who lived the entire eight decades of his life in the village.

I didn’t see anyone from Greendale at the funeral, but even they would have had to admit that the spirit of warmth and friendship in which the crowds gathered would have made even Postman Pat feel at home.

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  1. In our minds and hearts this morning we were all in Greendale – but our Vicar is not absent minded. Our Vicar is someone who has a very warm heart, a very thoughtful nature, a wonderful way with words and prayers. He can encourage and comfort the eldest and the youngest with a word, a gesture and a laugh. He is truly a man living out his calling in life to serve his God among God’s people. There are many people who need his time and care at the moment and he surely is a blessing to them and us all. May God richly bless our Vicar and his family in 2008.

  2. I was watching Jerusalem and Jam last night which made me think of you and your little Parish. (It’s probably nothing like that!) That previous comment is obviously from a grateful parishioner and it’s quite clearly the impresson I get. You must be doing something right!

  3. Baino,

    Pay no heed to comments – I pay them to say that!

    We aren’t jam and Jerusalem – we are very suburban

  4. Haha . . obviously you do not pay them enough . . you only got one comment!

    Ah, I’m sorry you’re not like Dibley or the village in Jam and Jerusalem! I have this mad picture of Ireland being little villages and muddy fams with stone walls, wild ponies and travellers in pretty caravans . . .sort of Ballykissangel . . .much like Americans think we all wear cork hats, speak fluent Coori and have to shoo roos off the main streets of Sydney!

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