I took a funeral for the first time this morning at the new Vale of Glamorgan crematorium at the far end of Wenvoe Parish, beyond the golf club. It's only been open about a year. Its modest slate and pennant sandstone buildings, landscaped surroundings and fresh white-lined car park tarmac, give it that fresh and clean look of a place where the builders have left having done their job and tidied up properly after themselves. The family had prepared their own service sheet with only minor help from me, also a picture slide-show of Dad's life, for use during the service. It was well assembled and fitted neatly with the music chosen. The tributes given were well thought out and affectionate, and this made it easy to introduce the scriptures and prayers chosen in an appropriate way. Whilst it was a sad occasion, it was also uplifting as an expression of solidarity in mourning the loss of the head of a family.
I was home in good time to allow me to walk to College and put in half an hour's work before lunch. Then I went in to the CBS office for a couple of hours, drafting documents and discussing details, that will prepare the way for a meeting with the new Police Crime Commissioner, as well as writing a report on the week's activities. More people are taking an interest in what CBS is doing these days and so we must pay more attention to how we interpret ourselves to others. This is more complex in many ways than simply getting accounts right, and requires a lot more friendly argument before we come to an agreement on what needs to be said to provide an accurate picture of our work that won't be misinterpreted.
Pidgeon's funeral directors sent me information about another funeral I'd agreed to do next Saturday for a man who lived in Westgate Street and died in Nazareth House, both in my former Parish. Normall this request wouldn't come my way. However, the executor of his estate was an American from North Carolina who'd only just arrived to make the arrangements. I said yes to taking the funeral because I thought the executor had once been a visitor to St John's whom I'd met after Evensong. When I rang to discuss service arrangements, this turned out not to be the case. A friend of the deceased apparently recommended me to the executor as I'd done her husband's funeral not long before my retirement. I learned the deceased had been interned by the Japanese a few days after he arrived in Singapore, just before it was captured. There can't be many survivors left as witnesses to such harsh war time imprisonment.
As there was no Tuesday Chi Gung session, I went late to the class that precedes the Thursday Tai Chi class, once I'd dropped Clare off early at her study group in Dinas Powis. Having banged my kneecap hard in the morning I was unsure how I'd manage two classes back to back, but it didn't bother me, and I enjoyed the good and gently workout it afforded me.