Compiling my very last Magazine has been a roller-coaster ride: a volunteer had recently come forward to take over as Editor but just a few days ago withdrew the offer due to serious health issues. Fortunately my very heavy heart didn’t last long – less than twenty-four hours later someone with experience of editing a similar publication phoned and volunteered! We are meeting up very soon and things are looking very promising. There will definitely be a February edition.
As usual at this time of year fitting two months into one issue has been a challenge and inevitably some items have had to be left out. I hope you enjoy the new departure – a smattering of typically chronic Christmas Cracker jokes. I’m certain I shall enjoy trying the recipe (page 6) this month, and sharing Rose Briar’s fun quiz (page 15) over Christmas.
We covered St John’s plans for Remembrance Day in the November Magazine but none of us knew then how spectacular the church was going to look decked out in Sun Hill Infant’s wonderful poppy banners. Read about how they were made on page 23.
There will be a full-colour poster version of the Parish Christmas Card (centre pages, 16 & 17) on display in St John’s porch from 1st December until 6th January. The winning charity was the Winchester Hospice Appeal, nominated by Keith & Glenys Brundish. We don’t yet know how much we have raised so will publish the total in February.
Thank you, loyal readers, for your support over the last seven years. Many of you often say very complimentary things about this publication, and I always explain that our success is due to our many excellent contributors as well as a large team of people who work together so well in many different ways. I am sure my successor will make changes and improvements, and I look forward to being able to enjoy the Magazine as a subscriber (a bargain at £10 a year delivered free to Alresford homes – phone Julie on 736013 to subscribe) without any responsibility for producing it!
The Magazine Team wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas.
Leader from Dec/Jan Edition of The Magazine
We are here again! The Christmas edition! How did that come around so quickly!??
How?…..probably because we live life at such a pace…even the retired folk I know are busier than ever!
Here we are again though, at the start of advent. The word means ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’ but I wonder what that means to you?
Is it a good excuse to eat a chocolate before breakfast every morning?
Is it a warning that you better do some Christmas shopping?
Or a time to plan what you will feed people on Christmas day?
In church it is a time of preparation too; there is a lot to be done preparing for the services and social gatherings, sorting the various trees and the rotas…but mostly it is a time for preparation of ourselves. A preparation on the inside, to live faithfully while we wait not just for Christ’s first coming but for His mysterious future coming, of which ‘no-one knows the day or the hour’.
You find out a lot about people when they are waiting! I love watching how people wait, especially if it is in a shop queue or traffic queue….and I am afraid I am not brave enough for the Boxing Day bargains queues! Different kinds of waiting brings out different emotions within us. I have been thinking about the people I know and the different things they are waiting for. They may be really hoping for or really dreading, praying for or trying to deny. When you think about it, we are all waiting for something.
What does waiting mean for you today?
Waiting by Cheryl Lawrie
I’ve always liked the idea that the church seasons are about rehearsing how to live faithfully in the biggest moments of life. In advent we rehearse waiting, so that we know how to wait with faith when the times of waiting come in our lives.
I’ve just been listening to the news and almost every story included the word ‘waiting’…
waiting to see what the fires will do
waiting for rain
waiting for fighting to stop
waiting for food
waiting for the coroner’s report[
waiting for sentencing
and I’m holding in my mind those whose stories don’t make the news…
waiting for blood test results
waiting for a temporary protection visa
waiting for the next benefit cheque
waiting to see what mood their Dad will be in tonight
waiting for release
waiting for refugee status
waiting for it to be over
waiting for it to begin.
I’m still learning what waiting with faith looks like for those who are living it with every breath… or maybe I’m learning that living waiting with every breath is in itself a fierce act of faith.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
From Dec/Jan Edition of The Magazine
Sun Hill Infant School has been an Artsmark school for the past 15 years. We are constantly striving to improve and extend the creative arts experiences we offer. Last year, one of our parents, Mrs Davey, came to speak to the children about her background in fashion design. As part of this, she shared her experiences of tie dying fabrics.
She inspired our art leader so much, that we decided to develop a project around tie dye and textiles to provide an additional arts experience for the children, beyond the taught National Curriculum. Each child would make a piece of tie dyed fabric to represent a poppy or poppies in commemoration of 100 years since the end of WW1.
Mrs Gandy our art specialist and Mrs Davey, worked with the children and a team of amazing parent volunteers to create the art work. Year Two children used rubber bands to tie marbles, balls and bottle lids into their fabric. They then submerged their fabric into red dye for an hour. The children then hand painted black dye on top of the gathered material. After rinsing the fabric, their final piece looked like a poppy field. Year One created a piece of art work to look like one large poppy. They twisted the material and tied bands along the length of fabric. They dipped their material into a bucket of black dye and left it for an hour. They then repeated the process by dipping the other end of the material into a bucket of red dye. The Year One children also embellished the centre of their poppies with black sequins and beads.
Once the fabric had dried, they were sewn together to make long pennants. Some of these pennants have been displayed in St John’s Church. Some were displayed in the school hall and some were displayed outside in our special Remembrance Garden. Our garden also contained crosses that children, staff, parents and governors made from recycled materials. Reverend Julie came to the Infant School to hold a special remembrance assembly outside in our garden.
Sun Hill Infant School
Born on Boxing Day 1925, Win had an older sister, Margaret. The family lived in Ealing, and their father, Fred, worked for the National Union of Railwaymen. During the Second World War, Fred’s office was evacuated to Wallingford in Berkshire, and such was the nature of this pleasant little country town, that the whole Hubbard family moved there and established their new family home.
Win’s mother was a little lady, and a somewhat feisty schoolteacher – and Win being somewhat similar to her mother in both stature and nature eventually followed her mother’s footsteps into teaching. Win herself, enjoyed school and study and after leaving school she studied sociology at Bedford College – a ladies college, which was part of London University.
After gaining her degree, Win began her working life in the Civil Service. However, being a committed Christian, of the Evangelical persuasion, she applied to the Church Mission Society to work as a missionary. This presented a problem, in that the CMS replied that they really did not have a lot of call for sociologists – but if she was a teacher………….! Nothing daunted Win, so she spent a year qualifying as a teacher, and was accepted by the CMS.
She was posted to Nigeria, where, over the period of about ten years, she worked in two schools in the Niger Delta area, before becoming the first principal of Egbu Girls Secondary School, Owerri. Win’s period in Nigeria was probably the highlight of her long life, and it is sad that her time there was ended abruptly when Civil war broke out. Win continued to remain in contact with her many friends in Nigeria, and her many memoirs of her Nigeria days remained her most prized possessions.
Back in the UK, she stayed in education, and having qualified to become a tutor at a teacher training institution, she took a post in a teacher training college in Bromley, and later moved on to tutor in various other higher education colleges.
Win’s mother lived to be 97, and later in her life, she looked to Win to provide her care, which necessitated Win doing a lot of commuting between Bromley and Wallingford. Win also spent a lot of time nursing her widowed sister in Sidmouth, who had developed cancer.
In her retirement, Win made the move from Bromley to Alresford, but not until she paid a couple of exploratory visits to check out St John’s Church, to make sure that it would suit her – well done St John’s!!
Win quickly threw herself into life in Alresford, joining many organisations and local choirs. She very quickly became known, as she did not do things quietly, and neither was she afraid to express her views, often very frankly!
Win was very generous by nature, and she had a huge pastoral heart, spending much time knocking on doors of neighbours, as well as the wider community, to check on the sick and housebound. Win continued to extend pastoral care even after mobility became quite difficult, when lesser mortals would have thrown in the towel.
She made St John’s her spiritual home and was active in encouraging mission and outreach, as well as being involved in all areas of church life. Win wanted to continue to be an active part of St John’s, and despite her mobility problems of recent years, as well as increasing difficulty in communication, thanks to many friends who gave patiently and generously of their time and energy, in transporting Win, she missed out on very little.
Win’s Christian faith, that had been with her, and guided her throughout her life, was rock solid. ‘The Good Lord brought me here’ she would often say. ‘The Good Lord brought me to Alresford’ – ‘The Good Lord that took me to Nigeria’ and he is the same Good Lord that she has striven to follow, and allowed to guide her throughout her long life. That same Good Lord has now taken her to Himself, just as Win knew he would.
We give thanks for Win’s life of care and service, and for the memories that she leaves behind.
VICKY LOW (Full Address)
Good Lord, for what has been – thank you. To what will be – Yes!
That little prayer is a favourite of mine. Written by Dag Hammerskjold, one time Sec. General of the United Nations, it is a favourite, because it is short, says what I want it to say – no more no less. It looks back on the past, it brings the past into the present and it looks forward in eager anticipation to the future and celebrates all three. Which is exactly what we’re doing this afternoon.
Good Lord, for what has been – thank you. To what will be – Yes
So what has been? What do we see when we look back at the life we celebrate today? I have only known Vicky for a few short years, but in that time I saw a woman who had lived life to the full. A woman that it was a joy to visit. Always bright and cheerful and pleased to see you, visiting her made you feel better!. ‘With her sparky personality and friendliness’, says a close friend – ‘she had the ability to talk to anyone and everyone of any age and make them feel better about themselves. What has been, is a long life lived to the full – a long life filled to overflowing with love. Love for her father who had died, (gassed in the first WW). and for her own mother, brother and sister. Love for her Husband John. She had married the boy-next door in !953 and her devotion to him through serious illness was unfaltering. He lost the use of his legs and she fought for the best care possible and full of admiration for his intelligence, she encouraged him back to work. Vicky didn’t see people’s disabilities. She was too busy finding out what they could do and be. That her beloved son, Andrew can talk so happily about his trouble-free childhood years, of the fun he had, squeezed in the invalid car with his Dad is, in the circumstances amazingly wonderful. She adored her son and to the best of her ability, ensured that family life was as perfect as it could be. As the years passed, and to her great delight – a daughter-in-law, Eleanor – two grand-children, Rosemary and Richard and joy of joys – Isabel a great-grand-daughter – were gathered in to enjoy their share of the love she poured over them all.
There are so many memories of what ‘has been’. Most are of gardens, painting and food. She was she was especially proud of one garden because – there were newts in the pond! She spent a lot of time in her garden enjoying the flowers and the company of the birds. In readiness for the challenge of a new garden, she made very detailed plans – geometrically drawn with planting lists – as she prepared for the move to Alresford.
She had been a talented actress, playing the lead in school plays, and top of her class in science and maths. She made the best Victoria Sponge ever, and homemade custard with the skin on and marzipan fruit. In Richard’s first week at Cambridge she made a surprise visit bringing a cake that made his friends jealous! In the 60’s she went to teacher training college and became a primary school teacher. In retirement she could be found in an old people’s home giving Art Therapy sessions – which she continued until she was older than some of her students! In her mid-80s and not letting her eye condition impede her in any way, she took up botanic art and produced some outstanding and beautiful work. The cover of your Service sheet is an example.
Not surprisingly, the move to Alresford was hard for Vicky. After 60 years or so in the same house and same environment, with all her friends and support networks, it took her a long time to find the energy and enthusiasm to adapt and change and embrace the new. But she did it – and she did it by walking. Through her daily walks around the watercress beds or down by the river gathering inspirational bits for her art, she found joy and peace. In her sense of wonder at the beauty of the natural world around her, she rediscovered the gift of acceptance. She had always walked through life’s challenges to the place of acceptance and healing. She did settle, she did adapt and she did with great courage she did start again – by joining and volunteering for so many groups from the Lib Dems to the church flower ladies, the book group, art group, Church Office. In a very short time she made a large number of friends and we miss her.
The little story about the two sisters in our Bible reading today, paints a picture of two quite different women. There is Martha – hot, flustered, irritated, anxious to get supper on the table – cross because no-one – well someone in particular – is not helping. And there is Mary – calm, interested in just one thing – being with Jesus and listening to Jesus. And he seems to criticise Martha for her busyness and commend Mary for choosing to be with him. which I think, is unfair. Very few women are completely one or the other, most of us are we both Martha and Mary. In Vicky, busy about all the many tasks and things she had to do, it was easy to see Martha. Not quite so easy to see Mary, but she was there. She found her peace and solace in the stillness and beauty of her garden and in her walks through the richness of the natural world around her. But it was perhaps, Choral Evensong that revealed the Mary part of Vicky most clearly. She was a great fan of Choral Evensong and whenever it was sung in St. John’s – or by our Choir in the Cathedral – Choir would find her in the congregation. She struggled, as most of us do, to articulate the power with which Evensong seems to reach deep into our souls. Somehow, the blessed familiarity of it all, particularly the Psalms which carries us to rest in the deep peace of that place where the Love of God enfolds us. It gives me such peace, she would say – Peace in here – (point at chest). it’s a Peace that I would describe as the Peace of God which passes all understanding. It’s there in the psalm we have just said. The Psalm that I said every time I prayed with Vicky and when we shared the sacrament of Holy Communion, the Psalm sung at her bedside in the Hospice by two of her friends. Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd – says the Psalmist – he’ll help me. I might be battered, tired and lost, but I’ll be OK. I am in safe hands. The Lord is my Shepherd.
He makes me lie down….leads me……refreshes my soul…..guides me…..comforts me
In God the hurt are given comfort. The weary are invited to rest. The lost are assured of guidance. Every word reassures the mind and soothe -s the spirit. Because the Lord is our
Shepherd, we lack nothing. God’s grace will meet all our needs.
He offers, invites and wants us to ‘lie down in green pastures’ – it is his gift of rest to us. Always there – always available.
He spreads a table before us and waits – and goes on waiting until we are ready to join him.
And he promises to be with us always .You have anointed my head with oil …….says the Psalmist……my cup is running over. This is where I belong This is home. I am truly blessed and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Good Lord for what has been – thank you. To what will be –Yes
Bring us O Lord God at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that house where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light. No noise nor silence but one equal music. No fears or hopes but one equal possession. No ends or beginnings but one equal eternity in the habitations of thy glory
Model Aircraft: Glenn Gilbertson (November Edition)
I started making models when the very first Airfix kits were produced in 1953, and have never stopped; research into accuracy, colour schemes and operational histories has been a lifelong fascination and I lost count of how many models I have made, but still have several hundred. The oldest models in the display are more than sixty years old (don’t look too closely), and the newest was finished the night before the display opened on September 7th. The models represent aircraft from the Sopwith Camel of 1918 to today’s General Atomics Reaper, but there was not room in the two cabinets to illustrate all 319 types regularly operated to date. The hope was to illustrate a variety of aircraft and finishes – the more observant nerds can count how many variations of the RAF roundel can be seen! One of the Canberras was one flown in Germany by F/Lt Keith Monkhouse – now Air Commodore Monkhouse, President of Alresford RAFA.
Apart from celebrating the RAF’s Centenary, the hope was to support RAFA’s Wings Appeal through September; I have said that the display will stay to the end of the month, but if Hilary Trickle is happy at the library may leave them till November 12. Will check tomorrow morning (her father flew Beaufighters in WW2). RAFA collection tins are in the Swan and Six West.
“Lady Luck” was indeed a USAAF bomber (the US Air Force was not formed until 1947).
History of our local Americans:
Eight Stars To Victory: A History Of The Veteran Ninth U.S. Infantry Division by Joseph B. Mittelman (Author)
Alresford Around D-Day was written by Colin Metcalfe
Some books about RAF locals:
Fighter Aces! The Constable Maxwell Brothers: Fighter Pilots in Two World Wars by Alex Revell (Author)
Aviator Extraordinaire: My Story by Air Commodore G J Christopher Paul CB DFC (Author)
Cover of Darkness by Air Commodore by Rod Chisholm (Author)
Tributes: Roger Page (February 2018)
Before my interview in 2001 for the position of Rector of New Alresford and Ovington, I did what any wise candidate would do to research the place;– I “Googled” Alresford. Two things came up immediately – the first was the Alresford Rugby Football Club, and the second was CLC. In my ignorance I knew nothing of CLC*, and became excited as I realised what a wonderful resource it was, and right on the doorstep.
Some eight months after the interview, I was “Collated” into the living of New Alresford and Ovington, and I made it my business to call on CLC to introduce myself during the following week. I recognised Roger as someone whom I had met in Church, and he couldn’t have been more-welcoming as he showed me around the warehouse and the offices. He introduced me to the lovely folk who worked with him, and to the concept of how CLC worked then, with Roger, Pearl and their co-workers “living by faith”. I so admired the strength of trust in the Lord that Roger, Pearl and the others displayed, and found Roger and the whole operation a truly inspirational project. It was so good to have in our midst a business which was managed prayerfully and faithfully, and to know that as we prayed for CLC, so Roger and his co-workers would hold the parish church in prayer also. With that confidence it was good to pop in to see him, just to share prayerful concerns with him.
In one of the earliest confirmation groups we ran, I asked Roger if I might bring the young people in to see how CLC operated, and for them to discover the outworking of “living by faith”. I know this particular aspect of CLCs operation made quite an impact on those young people, as it did me.
Whist we were sitting together in the staff room, I noticed on the wall a world map, showing the connections between CLC Alresford and places around the globe. One of those places was Vellore, in Tamil Nadu. When I led a group from St John’s to Vellore later that year, it was marvellous to visit the ELS Bookshops, both in Karigiri Hospital and at The Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore. In the latter shop, those who served me knew of Roger very well, and I tried to phone him then and there to pass on their greetings to him. Unfortunately, I hadn’t quite remembered Roger’s phone number correctly, and thus spoke to another pleasant Alresford soul instead!
As far as CLC International was concerned, it was the opening of the Bookshop in Belarus that I most-associate with Roger. It can’t have been a straight-forward project to manage, but with his usual diplomacy and tact, and firm conviction that this was from The Lord, things got underway there, and seem to have gone from strength to strength since.
Saint John’s Church has always been a “middle of the road” sort of place, which has called for compromise on the part of those who are from a more-defined churchmanship. Roger’s and Pearl ‘s “stable”, along with others at St John’s, has been firmly evangelical, whilst there are others who would class themselves as from the “catholic” wing, with the vast majority admitting to being simply “Anglican”. I was thrilled that Roger and Pearl felt they could be a part of St John’s Church fellowship. What they have been able to bring to the Church has been nothing but enrichment.
Roger was no stranger to leading worship, and I understand he had quite a prominent role doing this whilst he and Pearl were with another fellowship prior to my arrival. I was particularly grateful to Roger for the ministry into which he grew with “Sundays at Six”. It was obvious to me that the Lord was calling Roger to play a key role in that service, and his warm, prayerful, easy style, with insightful interjections and comments, and excellent choice of music to fit the theme, helped to turn it into a most-worthwhile venture.
A large amount of Roger’s time was devoted to musical and other assistance at HMP Winchester. There are many folk, both staff and prisoners alike, who have been grateful to Roger for the noteworthy part he played in the spiritual life of the place – not always an easy environment in which to minister.
I was also greatly indebted to both Roger and Pearl for the assistance they gave at the monthly devotional service in Ellingham Close, and especially appreciated his skills on the accordion, which were put to good use for Churches Together in Alresford occasions of outdoor witness.
In more recent times, Roger has been instrumental in forming and running a group for bereaved men, which has been greatly valued by those who belong to it. There were many other ways in which the pair of you just got on very quietly with caring for others; I can remember on many occasions the kindnesses done on behalf of the Wright family, for instance, and there were others besides them who have benefitted from the kindnesses extended by the pair of you.
The sadness of losing a dear Churchwarden in Dorothy, on Boxing Day, 2013, was a major blow. Ian was scheduled to retire from his role as Warden at the next APCM in the following April, and Dorothy’s sad demise left me with the responsibility of finding two wardens for St John’s.
After prayer and deliberation, two people stood out in my mind who, if they agreed, would be marvellous for this. I asked both Roger and Jackie if they would consider taking-on this crucial role, especially at a time when my retirement was imminent.
I saw Roger and Jackie as a complementary pair, with different gifts and perspectives on a whole range of concerns and interests. They were also both pastorally aware, and had an eye for detail, which is just what is required of those who take on this position.
I was thrilled when they both agreed to care for St John’s in the approaching time of transition. The vacancy unfortunately proved to be at times rather trying, and not without its difficulties, but both Jackie and Roger brought warmth, sensitivity and understanding into the situations as they arose. Since then, of course, they have been there for Julia, at the start of her ministry in The Arle Valley.
I am so very grateful for the support I received from them both in my last couple of years. I valued the many meetings we had together, and the wisdom and insights we shared in the fulfilment of our mutual duties. I will never forget the “leaving do” they organised on my last Sunday in The Arle Valley, and their kind words spoken on the occasion. Jackie and Roger were a true team, and I am so sorry that this partnership in faith and practice has been brought to an abrupt end.
I have always held Roger in the highest esteem. The perfect gentleman in all he undertook, he could charm and disarm people with his smile, and even a reprimand could sound like kindness itself from his lips! He was always very kind to me, and constantly asked after my well-being, most-concerned when he received an email from me, sent at an unearthly hour of the morning! “You’re not overdoing it, are you?”…….
I thank God for Roger, and am certain that he is well-at-home with the Lord, there with his Mum and all whom have gone before. I just wish, Roger, you could have stayed with us a bit longer.
With my love and prayers,
*CLC = Christian Literature Crusade
We were immediately drawn to Roger and thus St John’s the first time we visited the church as potential new members of the congregation. He gave us a warm and sincere welcome. If there’s at least one person on whom you can focus your attention when getting to know everybody else it makes it that much easier to become and feel involved.
We constantly hear what are the attributes of a committed Christian – open, warm, caring, concerned, prayerful, friendly, genuine, trusting and so on. We all hope that we each have some of these qualities, and more, to one degree or another. Roger had them all in equal and significant measure – he ticked all the boxes.
He is sorely missed.
God bless you Roger; rest in peace.
These thoughts have been rumbling around in my head ever since I heard the devastating news of Roger’s sudden death. Where do you begin to describe a man who has become so much a part of your life; a dear and respected colleague and fellow churchwarden, a much loved, cherished friend who felt rather more like a brother? I have known Roger for many years since we were both asked to be part of a group set up by Graham Trasler to explore setting up a healing ministry in St John’s. Later we both became part of that healing team where his care, concern and prayerfulness inspired us all. Over the years our paths often crossed in other ways but it was only when we became churchwardens together that I felt I really came to know him.
Many lives have been touched by Roger’s intuitive sense of care. He became a pastoral visitor and was often asked to visit recently bereaved men which resulted in him becoming involved in the Fresh Directions group. He could often be seen chatting to people in the churchyard, sometimes to those visiting a grave, always showing sensitivity and concern. I recall how he looked after my young nephew who was struggling with emotion at John’s funeral. It did not matter that they had never met before because to Roger this was someone in need of support and that is what he instinctively did. I often thought of Roger as the local bus chaplain because he loved the buses and was so often seen travelling on them chatting to passengers and drivers alike and I am quite certain, making many people feel all the better for the contact.
Since we became churchwardens there has hardly been a day, apart from holidays, when we have not had contact in some form or another, sometimes it seemed that there must be a direct phone/email link between our homes. Roger was so conscientious, always leading by example, always wanting to give of his very best for St John’s and all its people and above all for the God he loved. He was wise, discerning, extremely conscientious but at the same time very modest and self effacing. He took it upon himself to regularly empty the bins in the churchyard saying ‘it keeps me ‘umble’. Most of us have rarely met such a humble man. It has been a very deep privilege to have worked so closely with Roger, especially as we encountered some of the challenges of the interregnum. It is so good to also recall the happy harvest supper when we performed Mrs Beamish together and the laughter as we tried practising it beforehand. Roger’s warmth and welcome to all is unforgettable.
Roger’s faith underpinned all that he did. He really did live the mission of Jesus and I firmly believe that his life was a true example of Christianity in action. We miss him deeply but let’s give thanks for all that he has been to us, all that he has given to us and for the love and witness he has shared. We have much to learn from this great man.
Roger was a gentle and kind soul who was full of wisdom and part of the glue that held St John’s together
It has been my privilege to know Roger and Pearl since the 80s and to enjoy their staunch and supportive friendship during that time.
Our families used to share Sunday lunches together which was always fun (especially The Webberly Hills Mysteries which the children produced on a bulky video camera!)
In the Great Storm of 87 they showed their love in practical ways in meals and welcome baths as we had no power
We have shared in our children’s weddings and our anniversaries as well sadly in family funerals. As St. Paul wrote about his friends, I thank God for every remembrance of you Roger (and Pearl)
A note from my diary on 20th March 2017
“I saw Roger Page while waiting for my husband in the doctors’ surgery.
We talked, he lifts my heart.”
I so miss that man.
|WORDS of Condolence sent to the Page family|
|How shocked and saddened I was to hear of Roger’s passing – he was so lovely, and a great support to me – I really missed him when he left HMP Winchester. Please be assured you are in my thoughts and prayers – I do hope that you are taking care of yourself; that is so important at this time. Please pass on my condolences to your children. God bless you Pearl – now and in the future.|
|Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family at this really sad time. Roger’s warm welcome when we first arrived was one reason we continued to worship at St. John’s. He will be badly missed by all.|
|Your lovely Roger’s face was the first I saw as I walked into St. John’s on 9th March last year. His warm handshake and smile instantly made me feel both welcome and at ease in his presence. Although our acquaintance has been fleeting, I shared a couple of churchyard ‘clean-ups’ with him and grew to respect him and enjoy his humour – I will miss him. Grief is a strange creature that sneaks up on you at times you wish it wouldn’t. I have never realised this quite so much as in church last week. As the choir began “O Holy Night” (also a special favourite of mine) all my thoughts were focussed on you. Without any warning I was thinking of Ken and I trying to find a particular recording of it, without any knowledge of the ultimate singer – I totally “lost it” and almost didn’t go to the Communion rail as I was so distraught.|
|It is clearly obvious to say that Roger will be GREATLY missed! In his quiet and unassuming way, his life was full of service and ministry in so many ways and to so many and such varied people. His ability to get alongside some of the most difficult of offenders as well as alongside the most devout of believers was such a wonderful gift and one which he used with the utmost of discretion in the service of his Master. It was a privilege to have known him and to have worked in fellowship with him. Only heaven will reveal the number of lives that he undoubtedly touched with his gracious approach – to sinners and saints! How suddenly the commendation and call came – “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.” What a blessed calling Roger has received – with happiness and joy that is beyond our understanding… I pray that in your loss and grief, the Lord will give you just a little taste of the unspeakable joy that is now Roger’s. How wonderful to realise that our parting is just for a short time…|
|Roger will long be remembered, by us and so many others, as a man of deep Christian faith combined with practical efficiency and a delightful sense of humour. It was so appropriate that he was elected Churchwarden of St. John’s for the critical time of interregnum and he appointment of Julia as pseudo-Rector! Roger brought to that difficult but crucial work a deep understanding of the complex world of Christian leadership, and clearly gave up his time and energies to produce and excellent result – which we are all thrilled with! While all that was going on, Roger somehow managed to keep up his organ playing – which was always a delight to listen to. And having been a Churchwarden myself (at Christ Church Winchester, including an interregnum!) I can imagine how much boring administrative stuff passed across his desk and needed his attention… The services at St. John’s in the last two days have shown the love and admiration which all of us who knew Roger have had for his in recent years…|
|Roger was such a kind, gentle man; a true gentleman, who was a true and genuine Christian, down to the last bone in his body…. Gratitude for all the work he did for the church, especially as Senior Warden…|
|Although this is a hard and difficult experience, we are sure that you will be comforted because you know that you have not lost someone, when you know where they are. You also have the comfort of one who knows what it is to weep and who has promised to be with you in every situation. Roger was a most remarkable friend and encourager. We recall attending Christian book conventions over many years when Roger would be gracefully playing the piano as we gathered and during our worship time. Almost invariably when Carine and I would enter the room, he would catch us with the corner of his eye and immediately switch to a Scottish metrical Psalm tune, much to our delight! Invariably in contact with Roger, we enjoyed fellowship about the things of the Gospel with particular reference to our glorious Lord. You will be, as we are, thankful for the sweet memories that we have of Roger’s commitment to others, to the ministry in which he was engaged and to the Lord whom he so faithfully served.|
|We remember Roger with affection and thanks for all that he did for us and meant to us. He was most gracious – gentle and kind in every way. Truly a “Christian Gentleman” and friend. Roger was our “St. John’s Godfather” and will always be held dear in the hearts of all who knew him.|
|[His] will be a great loss to many of his friends, a most kind, funny and loving man. Together, [Pearl] and Roger were an inspiring couple and so many have said that you were the kindest of people.|
|Our tears are nothing to the ocean of tears [Pearl] must feel. Roger was a friend to all, so calm so kind so hard-working, always there for everyone. Giving sympathy when needed and spurring on when work needed to be done. There will be so many holes in the tapestry of life at St. John’s and the wider community that had been filled by Roger. He will be missed so very much.|
|No words can do justice to Roger’s contribution to the life and spirit of Alresford. Everywhere we went in our church circles, he was there – offering wisdom and friendship with that ever-ready smile of his… we know, with absolute certainty, that Roger is now rejoicing with our Lord…|
|Roger – one of life’s rare gifts. Like a rainbow in all the different colours and facets of how he served our Lord. We do not expect to meet anyone of his shining example of the fruits of the spirit again in our lifetime. We will treasure his memory and our hearts go out to you [Pearl] but be comforted by the huge influence Roger has had on so many lives. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart”.|
|As we got to know Roger more over the past few years because of church PCC and Standing Committee we came to realise what a truly good man he was. Every bit an exemplary Christian. Whenever he was leaving our house he would always say with such genuine feeling “thank you for all you do and God bless” when, in fact, it was he who had done so much for church. A wonderfully committed Churchwarden – so successful in the interregnum and arrival of Julia. He will leave an enormous gap and we shall all miss his calm wise and humoured approach.|
|Roger was the first person to welcome us to Alresford with a bunch of daffodils when he came to see us shortly after we moved here. We really appreciated his cheerful help in introducing us to worship at St. John’s and we will miss him greatly.|
|Roger will be in our memories for years to come. His love, tenderness and kindness to others were so evident. He was one of God’s people, doing God’s work in God’s way, in God’s time, in God’s place. From “For all the Saints” – When the strife is fierce, the welfare long; Steals on the ear the distant triumph song…” Roger is now part of that triumph song! God will be in there with you [Pearl], discernible and indiscernible.|
|Roger was such a wonderful person: kind, full of fun, full of life, always had time for people, gentle with those who needed him to be gentle, patient but firm – and totally firm in his faith. I believe – as I know you do – that he will already be with God and that for him everything will now be perfect – no longer looking through a glass darkly. But I find it so hard to understand why we couldn’t have him for longer!|
|He was a friend, a kind, generous and utterly selfless person, who gave his time so generously to others. He gave so much to the life of St. John’s that no person will ever fill the gap.|
|Roger was the most welcoming and kind man that I have ever met.|
|Roger was such a lovely, lovely man and a good friend to everyone who knew him. I hate writing about him in the past tense. I lost count of the number of times he thanked me for all I do for St. John’s – but he did far, far more and as a volunteer too. He supported me in so many ways and his Roger the Bus Pass Rover articles were such a success in The Magazine. I shall miss making music with him at St. John’s – both at Sundays at Six and singing in the Community Choir. I shall miss his humour, his kind words and his (usually) calm presence. As someone remarked yesterday he was the father-figure at St. John’s, like a godfather to all of us. A truly spiritual and really warm gentleman.|
|We rejoice that [Roger] is now safe in the hands of our Lord but our thoughts and prayers are very much with you. Roger was someone whose Christian faith shone out of him in all he was and did. It was a privilege to know him, not least to experience his musical gifts and I shall always be grateful to you both for all you shared and have done for me.|
|Roger was the first person we met in church when we called in before we moved here. He was so kind to us. Roger was also such a wonderful musician as well as such a wonderful person. We are all going to miss him so much but give thanks that we had the privilege to get to know him.|
|If ever there was a true Christian man it was Roger. He was very special, always caring and sensitive; a true gentleman, and did so much for so many. I think Julia really captured the essence of him at the morning service on Sunday [after he died].|
|He was a much-loved member of St. John’s and the wider Alresford community and we shall miss him so much. We got to know him better as we worked together for the church and it seems only yesterday that he told us how much he appreciated the fellowship demonstrated at our planning suppers. We shall remember him in many guises from the formal procession of Churchwardens to the many musical events and ‘entertainments’ particularly the Harvest Supper rendition. He was efficient, caring, funny, talented, everybody’s friend and a lovely man. He is now in the arms of the Lord he worshipped.|
|As everyone will have said, in Roger we had the example of a good, kind and truly Christian man, through and through. All that was said on Sunday [just after he died] showed how far his faith and example spread. We are all so blessed to have known him and to have learnt so much from him, as well to have enjoyed his company and his lovely sense of humour… Pearl, I know that you are as truly a servant of Christ as Roger and I pray that that will sustain you in the bleak times. I understand that Roger called you his ‘Pearl of Great Price’ and that is certainly what you are.|
|There are no words to convey what the loss you all are feeling must be like. We are all praying that you will find some comfort in the Lord at this time. We remember Roger as such a lovely, humble, gentle man with so many talents and such a lovely smile and welcome.|
|I have so many happy memories of all eight of us spending fun afternoons together at your house and how much part of the family we all felt. You and Roger were very much part of my childhood, from fun days out to church outings to work experience in the [CLC] warehouse to everything in between. Roger was truly a rare combination of warmth, success, love and generosity and I am so sad to hear that he is no longer with us.|
|The Churchwardens in our Diocese do a great job but I was always particularly impressed by Roger as his dedication in service was marked by such a deep care for the people in the congregation and desire to do his best for them; he was an exemplary Warden. I know his loss with be keenly felt by so many.|
|We give thanks to God for the relatively short time that we have had the privilege of knowing such a lovely man and seeing, knowing his love of Jesus and for you [Pearl]. “This is our God, the Servant King; He calls us now to follow Him; To bring our lives as a daily offering; Of worship to the Servant King.” “So let us learn how to serve; And in our hearts enthrone Him; Each other’s needs to prefer; For it is Christ we are serving.” This, for me, sums up Roger’s serving heart. “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.” (Matthew 25 v. 21)|
|We remember Roger fondly for being such a kind, funny, warm and caring person, who always had time to listen and who has done so much for the wellbeing of others in the community. He has always lived his life as a true witness of his strong faith. We shall miss him very much.|
|Roger was such a lovely man, with a great sense of fun. Nothing was too much for Roger, from essential tasks like emptying the bins to leading the team through the demanding period of interregnum. A good friend who led by example and always cheerful. He is very much missed.|
|I had really only got to know Roger over the last year and he was such a kind, lovely person. He was brilliant through all the interviews and pre-interview meetings for the new priest, with his calm manner and gentle sense of humour. What a tremendous loss for the church and the community.|
|Such a shock to everyone. Roger was such a genuinely lovely man and a good friend to Jackie – for which we are eternally grateful – his passing will leave a great hole in our community.|
|I have always held Roger in the highest esteem. The perfect gentleman in all he undertook, he could charm and disarm people with his smile, and even a reprimand could sound like kindness itself from his lips! He was always very kind to me and constantly asked after my wellbeing, most concerned when he received an email from me, sent at an unearthly hour of the morning! “You’re not overdoing it, are you…?” I thank God for Roger and am certain that he is well-at-home with the Lord… I just wish, Roger, you could have stayed with us a bit longer.|
|There are so very many things that I will miss about Mr. Roger. The tasty scraps from his dinner plate, which he hoped Mistress didn’t know about (she did), our nice walks together, his cry of “Where’s ball-ey?!” (a game he liked to play where I had to bring him my toy ball so that he could have a go at throwing it) – this cry indicated that the game was a-paw, the way he always took my part and spoke up for me when I had been naughty. The way he always liked me to stand on his newspaper when he was trying to read it. Everything about my life with him was nice and made me happy. You see, there are lots of different Mr. Rogers in the world. But only this one was MY Mr. Roger and I miss him every day. Gisèle-Stephanie the Parson Jack Russell Terrier.|
Roger Page was a champion for St. John’s bell ringers. He was always supportive of the ringers and ringing activities; he attended several tower AGMs in the ringing chamber at the unsociable time of 8:30pm on a Friday evening in (usually cold) January. We hope he and Pearl enjoyed being our gests at our annual tower Christmas lunch – quirkily held in April.
The whole band was saddened at Roger’s sudden and untimely death but tried to show their love and appreciation by ringing bells. On Sunday, 3 December, we rang a quarter peal of 1260 changes of Plain Bob Triples prior to the Advent carol service at St. John’s. Later that evening, a hand bell quarter peal of 1260 changes of two Minor methods was rung at the home of Derek Yates in Oak Hill. Derek was one of the many people whom Roger visited, having met him and his wife Barbara at Coffee, Cake & Chat.
Prior to Roger’s funeral, Rodney Skinner and Elizabeth Johnson tolled the tenor bell very slowly and solemnly for half an hour before the service.