Dibley Baptist is a very old-fangled place in many ways. We have a traditional roll book which each member signs as they are received into membership. It's a good tradition, which promotes a sense of continuity - at least as far back as the opening of the now closed building!
This morning, for the second time in a fortnight, I've had to update the book, adding the final date for one of our members, whose name now appears on another roll in another dimension. Having to leaf back several pages past the angular biro of recent years to the beautiful copperplate of the 1940's I passed over two hundred names to find this name received 'on profession of faith' and add the date of death. How many have passed through the portals of this place in those intervening years, and where are they all now, I wondered?
It is a weird sense of privilege to open this book and record the deaths of those who make up this little church in this little corner of God's world.
Rest well, companion in Christ, your work is done.