Our Pastor's Blog
My Tribute To Mike Humphreys
I had planned to write a blog this month, on the wonderful BBC production 'Marvellous' based on the true life story of Neil Baldwin. I had found him inspiring, uplifting, funny and he gave some wonderful illustrations of what God's Kingdom can look like.
Instead with a very heavy heart I find myself writing a tribute to another marvellous man, friend, faithful follower of Jesus, and a wonderful church secretary. I wondered whether I should have asked others to write this, those who have known him for many years, or Ed, the previous Pastor at Sheddingdean. But it is the measure of the man that in such a short time of working with Mike, I feel his loss so deeply.
Our first contact with Mike occurred in August 2011, our time limited Ministry in the North West was coming to an end. We had received several church profiles and rejected them, we had begun an exploration with a church in London, but felt no real sense of calling. We found ourselves wondering how God was going to lead us. We were on holiday on the Isle of Mull, when we received a phone call from Mike. Having chatted with him and agreeing to make a visit, even there on an Island in Scotland there was sense that Jackie and I knew this was it.That was to be the first of hundreds of phone calls and conversations with Mike.
There are so many aspects of his life and service that I could talk about, his incredible hard work, the integrity he displayed in his role as church secretary, his gentle care and compassion, the many practical jobs he did for others, and his concern to serve the wider community. Instead I want to say something about his sense of humour, in part because it enables me to pay tribute to Sheila.
There have been some great comedy double acts, my favourite is still Morecambe and Wise, but you can add your own. Together Mike and Sheila were a joy, they made me smile and I really appreciate that. I'm told that seeing them shopping together in Tesco was a particular joy. In life we sometimes have to deal with some difficult things, a sense of humour and perspective offered with love and thoughtfulness are a marvellous, infectious combination. Together Mike and Sheila provided that for me and so many people.
What of the future. Mike, like all of us wasn't perfect, we may now occasionally have a gentle curve to the rows of chairs in church! Mike has left us a wonderful example of what it means to allow your life to be gradually changed because of your love and faith in Jesus. He has sown a great many seeds which we must keep watering and I personally believe they will produce fruit long after his passing. He has left 3 great sons and we will go on seeing something of Mike in each one of them. To Sheila we simply say we love you.
Thank you Mike, it was 'Marvellous' a true life story, you were inspiring, uplifting, funny and gave me some wonderful illustrations of what God's Kingdom can look like.