Yesterday we bade farewell to The Right Rev’d Robert Townshend. The Cathedral Church of St Paul was filled. Bob was a bishop, a friend, a husband, a father, a poppa, a brother, and uncle, a cousin, a mentor, – a servant of Jesus Christ. The liturgy was a wonderful celebration. The funeral was a great expression of love. Andra you spoke so well about your Dad. The ‘short Easter sermon’ offered by The Rev’d Canon Dr Todd Townshend was wonderful. I shall forever have with me the image – “even with our toes curled over the abyss, we make our song – Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.”
My thanks to the family for including me in the liturgy when there were so many people who loved Bob and so many who participated. I was honoured to lead the prayers with Mary.
As part of my prayers last night I penned this hymn in dedication to Bob.
We Come Now to Worship
(Hymn Tune – Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise)
We come now to worship, to pray to the Lord,
as we sing and gather, and open the word.
Bread has been gathered and Wine has been poured
we bring our hearts open to Jesus our Lord
We seek to be people who serve Jesus Christ,
knowing full well that it comes with a price.
To serve, we must follow, and be where Christ dwells
be children of Light against darkness of hell.
The wheat of communion we gather for bread
Is fruit from a seed that in earth once was dead
no longer a seed that exists on its own
A harvest of love from its dying is grown
We also are grains that are gathered for bread
once kneaded, and broken the world might be fed;
We give them Jesus, compassion and hope
forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love.
God grant us the courage to die to old ways,
step out of the darkness into Light of day.
As Children of Light may we all strive to be
a people whose actions draw all close to Thee.
Music: St Denio
Words: Kevin George – Copyright 2015
Written in Memory of the Right Rev’d Robert Townshend
Scripture Reference: John 12:20-33
I was privileged to get to know Bob better since becoming rector of St. Aidan’s. He gave people Jesus in his words, and in his witness – Thank you Bob for you many kindnesses to the people of St. Aidan’s and to the wider church. May you rest in peace, and rise in glory.
Pat, Andra & Patrick – Grace & Lilly, Todd & Stacey, – Tyne, Seth, & Samuel, and Mary — you all remain in our prayers.