The sudden unexpected death of Richard Johnson on 22nd January 2012 came as a tremendous shock to everyone. Over 200 people gathered for the funeral at Holy Cross on 7th February to pay their respects. The service was led by the Rector, Revd Andrea, who spoke of the loss of Richard’s passing. Peter Heffron, Church Warden and PCC Secretary, spoke movingly on behalf of the church and wider village community. Parts of his address are printed below:
Over the years, Richard has dedicated so many years of his life to Holy Cross and this community, having been a member of its PCC for over 30 years. We expect for longer, but we can only go back so many years in our written records. We do know he served as Churchwarden, as a Bell Ringer and Tower Captain, has looked after the property, the grounds, the Electoral Roll, organised our yearly giving to Water Aid and Christian Aid and even represented us all in the wider area on the Deanery Synod. We expect there are a great deal more areas we could list, or indeed have not mentioned; and our apologies if we haven’t remembered everything, but there has been so much.
In more recent years he has been our verger and sides-man. Personally I would have struggled without his help, as would we all on the PCC, knowing that each and every week I could guarantee at 9 O’clock the church would be open and he would be there to help get things ready. Or at any other event, he would be the first to offer help and support to ensure things went smoothly for any other family in the community, whether at a Baptism, Wedding, Funeral or any other occasion. He would always go out of his way to do his best for others and offer that friendly face of welcome and support, whether he knew you personally or not.
Which is why the PCC, and all the members of Holy Cross, wish to say “thank you” to you Richard; for everything you have done over for us all over the years. And for how you have helped us all along our own journeys in life. But we would also like to say thank you to Richard’s family and friends. For it is your personal support that enabled Richard to do so much, have such a fulfilling life and be able to do so much for so many other people.