There was a mixture of sadness and relief when we heard the news that Stan had gone to be with Jesus. Stan was a unique character, a very gracious and warm person with a wonderful Scottish humour. He had an ability to adapt when faced with life’s challenges which honoured the Lord. Stan accepted people as they were and always had a word of encouragement to give them. His consistent walk with Jesus was always an inspiration to those who knew him.

As one dear brother remarked, “he adorned the doctrine,” in other words he lived fully in the way Jesus had called both him and Mavis to live. Stan was such a good friend to us from the time we arrived in England from South Africa. Their support and encouragement always seemed to come at the right time and in the right way. There is so much we could say about this caring husband to Mavis, father to Barry and Joy, Emma and David, and Russell and Alison. We` must not forget the four Grandchildren Mary, Ellie, Sienna, and Tabitha who were dearly loved by their Grandad.

I was both honoured and privileged to be asked to facilitate the funeral. But due to some miscommunication we thought we had forty minutes for the service but just a few minutes prior to the start of the gathering we were told we only had thirty minutes! So we had to cut the service short.

But the more I think about it the more I realise how God had something better in store. A wake had been arranged at a nearby pub and it was there that we continued the celebration of Stan’s life. Richard read from Romans 8 and Colin, who had given the eulogy at the crematorium, continued the stories of Stan and Mavis’ pilgrimage together. There was great laughter and a deep appreciation for Stan’s life.

Then we concluded our celebration with over a hundred people, who were packed into this pub, singing the beautiful hymn, “Thine be the Glory” raising the roof with triumphant joy and giving honour to Jesus. We all felt that Stan would have been delighted with this time of celebration in a place that had not seen or heard the like!

Our hearts go out in prayerful and practical support over the coming months to Mavis and the family. Stan walked in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared for God took him home. Stan, we shall miss your quiet wisdom, your hearty laughter and your fatherly kindness.

[Stan Firth 2nd April 1932 – 17th December 2023]