During his short time in Shrewsbury Chris and I became close friends,
sharing many very personal thoughts and ideas. I give thanks to God for the
times when we were able to share music, theology and fun together and his
passing has left a hole in my life which is hard to fill. We shared his love
of organs and music. I recall one trip to Malvern when we examined an organ
for sale that we thought might be suitable for Belle Vue Methodist Church.
Our comments on what we found need not be repeated (very un-Methodist !) but
we both enjoyed the time and jokes together..
Chris was a great encouragement to me in my own music-making and he would
always comment with great support and understanding upon any of the
voluntaries that I played. His own enthusiasm for playing hymns on the piano
will live long in my memory: he interpreted the words of each verse, playing
with variety and skill and, above all else, to encourage people to sing. A
first class accompanist.
Many of our conversations away from music would reflect on the work of
probation officers and how that whole system has decline; we would reflect
also on that fine book “The Christian agnostic”, never reaching any
conclusion, of course.
It was always a pleasure to visit Chris in his lovely home. Despite his
pain and discomfort he was overjoyed when I told him that Linda and I were
to get married. A couple of weeks before he died he advised me that
‘everything was in place and I am prepared to go’. Faith indeed alongside
his humour and musicianship.
He will live long in our various memories; Linda and I send our love to
you both and to your families.