Hywel was an important part of our church family. I would be tempted to say that he was more faithful than the ‘faithful’s’. Indeed, Hywel was in church every Sunday morning, always spoke to everyone he saw, and even took part in the service verbally and physically. It would be fair to say that everyone in the church knew Hywel.
Sadly, Hywel died last Monday.
His funeral was the largest we have held in our building. Every seat was taken, the entrance was packed, and over 20 people stood outside in the sun shine. It was a funeral with a mix of sadness and humour.
Hywel will be missed.
He’s left a big gap in our church.
But what is so special is that Hywel was a man whose life had been affected by alcohol. He would often come in drunk, or occassionally covered in bruises and blood after a fight or fall. He was well known around the town and banned from the majority of pubs.
The verbal and physical taking part that I spoke about earlier… was usually an innuendo and middle finger gesture (to the preacher!).
Yet, he spoke to everyone, cared for people, and was genuinely a friend.
He was never nasty in our church, and never really caused offense. The biggest concern people had was the effect alcohol was having on his life.
One mother in the church emailed to say how good he was with her children.
He touched all of us.
I know this may seem odd… but I’ve put the funeral service below… for three reasons:
1. So that those who never knew Hywel would be effected by his life, just as I was.
2. That those who loved Hywel and were unable to attend the funeral (like his original Pastor Kevin Adams) would be able to listen in.
3. To show how a church should be. A place of refuge and welcome for all.
Thanks be to God for allowing me to know Hywel.http://alonetone.com/jonathan/tracks/funeral-of-a-friend.mp3?referer=download