Special remembrance service in Norwich
Taverham Evangelical Church
is holding a special service on Remembrance Sunday, November 11,
with minister Geoff Brendling
who has officiated at 300 funeral services in the last three years. TEC minister, Vic Ready, reports.
So said Solomon in his famous discourse found in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. There is he said, “a time to be born and a time to die”. The former is mostly a time of great rejoicing and the latter a time of great sadness but an experience that we must all one day experience.
Geoff Brendling, one of the ministers at TEC, near Norwich, has a unique ministry in helping the families and friends of those that have died come to terms with their loss by getting alongside these families at the time of bereavement and keeping in touch after the funeral.
In the last three years Geoff has taken very nearly 300 funerals and on many occasions the family of a previously deceased member has requested that Geoff once more officiates.
Every year on Remembrance Sunday, TEC holds a remembrance service with a difference. Although we remember those that have died in the major wars of this and the last century, we also remember those of our own families that have passed away, especially those people whose funerals Geoff has taken over the last three years.
Last year, our Remembrance service was attended by over 60 family members from funerals that Geoff has taken, as well as a smaller number from ones I have been responsible for. Almost every person present at the end of the service came forward to light a candle to remember their loved ones and to thank God for their lives.
What was really surprising was that many of my own church members also took the opportunity to come and do the same in remembrance of those of their families that were no longer with them. It was a time of reflection and a time of healing because as the writer to Ecclesiastes also pointed out, as much as there is a time to be born and a time to die there is also a time to tear down and a time to rebuild. For many, whose lives had been seemingly torn down, the service marked the start of rebuilding with the help of God.
I firmly believe that other churches apart from TEC can use or adapt this model to reach the hurting members of society that need our love and understanding. The power of God to heal and save was present at our service last year and I have no doubt will also be with us this year when we are expecting around 100 extra people to attend on November 11.
Pictured above is TEC minister Geoff Brendling.