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  • Brian Mountford

Getting towards the end


My time at SMV is fast running out like being in a canoe in the calm but accelerating water above the Niagara Falls knowing that very soon things are going to change pretty radically, but you’ve no idea what it will feel like. Yesterday I received the service rota to fill in, but since my involvement stops half way through, I had to send it back incomplete, with three large metaphorical dots. And now I have to think what to say in my ‘last sermon’. Not as easy as you might think. There’ll not be time for a review of thirty years and yet I’m frightened of missing the point altogether.

Also trying to start my memoir. How about this? ‘You know, you wake up one morning suddenly aware you have a self which is separate from your parents. But there you are, trapped in their version of what life is like: their house, your grandma’s house, the house down the road at number 19, their language, their town. You then spend a large part of your life trying to build new terms of reference only for your children to be confronted by the same challenge, needing to make their own way, to find their own voice, and their own selves.’

Okay! So the Niagara Falls image is a bit too eschatological and white water rafting would have been better. I once had to sack a church organist when I worked in North London and on his last Sunday he chose for the anthem C Hubert H Parry’s, ‘Lord, let me know mine end and the number of my days.’ Apparently he had shown exactly the same humour when sacked from a church in Highgate.


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