Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father's house are many
mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I
go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again, and
receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye
may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither
thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith
unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no
man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had
known me, ye should have known my Father also: and
from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father,
and it sufficeth us.Jesus saith unto him, Have I been
so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known
me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the
Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the
Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak
not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he
doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father,
and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth
on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and
greater works than these shall he do; because I go
unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my
name, that will I do, that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my
name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you
another Comforter, that he may abide with you for
ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot
receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth
him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and
shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I
will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world
seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye
shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am
in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that
hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that
loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my
Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is
it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not
unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If
a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make
our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not
my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine,
but the Father's which sent me. These things have I
spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever
I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not
your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye
have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come
again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice,
because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father
is greater than I. and now I have told you before it
come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might
believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for
the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in
me. But that the world may know that I love the
Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even
so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
We give thanks today for Sandy and
the life he has lived among us: a varied life which
included extensive Christian Ministry in this country
and abroad; a life which enjoyed many interests
outside of public ministry; and a life of devotion
and commitment to Ann and their family.
Sandy was born in Nottinghamshire in
1923 but the family soon moved to Yorkshire and then
to South Africa where Sandys father became
curate of St Pauls, Durban.
Sandy returned to the UK two years
later to live with his grandmother. Further moves
followed to Bradford, Huntingdon and then five years
in Durham, 1937-1942, for the final years of his
Sandys wartime service began
with the War Agricultural Committee before being
called up to serve in the Royal Navy. However on the
Monday before he was due to sign on, he was summoned
to Whitehall to meet a Colonel Tiltman,
who asked him to learn Japanese for military
purposes. So after Special Intelligence School in
Bedford he was attached to Naval Intelligence at
Bletchley Park. From there he went to Ceylon (Sri
Lanka), decoding and translating. [His name is on the
virtual Roll of Honour
maintained by the Bletchley Park Trust].
When the war ended Sandy was 22 but
by this time already had a world of experience and
travel under his belt, and had put his sharp
intellect to good use. In 1946 he went up to
Cambridge and read Classics and Theology, which lead
on to his becoming a BA and MA in 1948 and 1953.
Interestingly he then worked in the
steel works set up by Samuel Fox at Stocksbridge
for six months, to broaden his experience even
further, before training for the Ministry. He
followed his father by becoming ordained and priested
a year later in 1951.
He served his title at St Thomas, Wincobank,
and then became senior curate at Rotherham Parish Church,
both in the Sheffield Diocese. Those were the days
when clergy routinely served two curacies, rather
than just one as today, before an incumbency.
By this time Sandy and Ann had met
and were married in 1953 in Northern Ireland, at
Cairncastle, near Ballygally. Anns father had
recently died but the wedding was a very happy
There was always something of the
adventurer about Sandy, perhaps his nomadic early
life shaped this and also what we would call today,
his cutting edge. It was these qualities that lead
him to be Priest-in-Charge at Manor Park in Sheffield
when the pioneering Leslie Hunter was Bishop.
was a man ahead of his time. It was in Sheffield that
got off the ground in this country. At Manor Park
there was, to begin with, no church, so services took
place in the vicarage, and in the local pub at Easter
where no doubt a traditional tipple for the
Vicar would have gone down very well.
After a time a church was built and
named after William Temple, the wartime Archbishop of
Canterbury. His widow came to the opening. Sadly
Sandy and Anns vicarage is now boarded up and
on the market for just £50,000 should anyone
be interested which is indicative of how tough
a parish this was and how pioneering Sandys
ministry must have been at that time.
It was in Sheffield that Ann
celebrated her 21st birthday and it was whilst that
they were at Manor Park that family life took off.
Their first son Christopher was born there, followed
two years later by Philip.
Another big change was about to take
place when in 1959 Sandy and Ann set sail for India
at the invitation of the Bishop of Bombay (Mumbai).
Sandy was appointed Director of Education in the
Diocese of Bombay. Poona was their home for two years
and Sandy also had charge of St Pauls Church
(whether he wore a pith helmet and travelled by
elephant is not recorded).
They experienced quite a culture
shock on arrival in India; in those days there was
little formal preparation for such a radical change
of direction. One change was the huge congregations
prepared to come to church, and stay. The Good Friday
Three Hours saw whole families pitch-up, kids and
all, and sit tight, from beginning to end.
It was in India that Sandy developed
his taste for hot curries and Indian food. He loved
his food (not to mention whiskey). In this he was in
a long line of clerics who shared the same
gastronomic concern. Notable among them was the
eighteenth century James Woodforde who on October
12th 1770 recalls in his diary:
OCT. 12 1770: ... Mrs. Carr, Miss
Chambers, Mr Hindley, Mr. Carr, and Sister Jane
dined, supped and spent the evening with me, and
we were very merry. I gave them for dinner a dish
of fine Tench which I caught out of my brother's
Pond in Pond Close this morning, Ham, and 3 Fowls
boiled, a Plumb Pudding; a couple of Ducks
rosted, a roasted neck of Pork, a Plumb Tart and
an Apple Tart, Pears, Apples and Nutts after
dinner; White Wine and red, Beer and Cyder.
Coffee and Tea in the evening at six o'clock.
Hashed Fowl and Duck and Eggs and Potatoes etc.
for supper. We did not dine till four o'clock -
nor supped till ten. Mr. Rice, a Welshman who is
lately come to Cary and plays very well on the
Triple Harp, played to us after coffee for an
hour or two ... the Company did not go away till
near twelve o'clock ...
The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802
James Woodforde (OUP 1979)
Like Sandy, they didnt do
things by halves in those days.
Of course, good dining doesnt
always have a happy outcome. In India there were
visits to outlying villages where hospitality was
lavish and couldnt be refused. The advice was
dont eat the water melons, but to
refuse meant youd be insulting your hosts,
whatever the risk. Health was always an issue. Sandy
and Ann had hepatitis during their time in India.
Sandy liked a challenge and this appointment was at
times another tough call in his ministry.
Cathy was born in India before the
family returned to the UK in 1963, when Sandy became
Vicar of Bexley in the
Rochester Diocese. It was here that Richard was born
and completed their family.
Eight years later Sandy was appointed
by the Dean and Chapter of Rochester to be Vicar of Leatherhead, where
as we know, Sandy and Ann remained until his
retirement in 1989.
And now some family memories.
My father lived life to the full, he
enjoyed travel, good food and wine, the odd
whiskey and his pipe and he was passionate about
sport, especially supporting Huddersfield Town
football team. My abiding memories as a child
were of our annual farm holidays. One year, on a
farm in Scotland we brought home a Collie dog
called Meg that was being ill-treated by the
farmer and who became a faithful friend to my
dad. This was the start of three generations of
Collies that gave dad a lot of pleasure. The
Collies were always considered part of our
family, so much so that dad would occasionally
call us by the dog's name!
Dad was a passionate reader and liked
his debates and was a very good listener. He was
always there for me when I needed advice.
Dad was a warm, tactile, loving and
caring father who was supportive in everything we
decided to do. Whilst we all as children had a
Christian, church going up-bringing, he never
sought unduly to influence or pressurise us in
any particular direction in life and left us to
make up our own minds on matters of faith,
morals, career and other key life decisions. He
was always there to offer advice and support when
He lived life to the full and was
a great mentor for the whole family. He was able
to laugh at himself (like when he managed to hit
the head green keeper in the stomach with an
errant drive the one and only time I managed, as
a teenager, to coax him to give up a very foggy
Tuesday day-off to play golf at Tyrrells Wood [DE
- I hope the green-keeper laughed too]. He was a
stickler for time keeping and of routine
lunch at one, dinner at six BBC TV, good
ITV, never on. This only added to our
sense of security when growing up. I am proud to
be his son and like all the family will miss him
terribly. He will stay in our hearts forever.
Sandy was very proud of his family
and they of him. It now includes seven grandchildren:
Thomas, Nicola, Sophie, Samuel, Georgina, Finlay and
Anyone who visited Sandy
couldnt but notice the two oars displayed on
the sitting room walls. He had earned these whilst
rowing for Jesus College Cambridge:
Head of Heats in 1947 and Head of River in 1948. He
also sang at Cambridge and music was something that
meant a great deal throughout his life. In retirement
he sang with Dorking Choral Society and some members
of that Choir join our own church choir today, as
well as from St Martins Dorking where Sandy
served in retirement. All the music at this service
has been chosen by Sandy and reflects his taste. The
family were promised that if we sang Crimond
today he would come back and haunt them. Too many
funerals. So were not.
With his interests in music and
rowing and sport in general we see that Sandy
wasnt a priest narrowly focussed on
religion or church but
embraced all of life with relish and interest.
He also had a keen sense of social
concern and responsibility. In retirement in Dorking
he was chair of Age Concern. Before that,
whilst Vicar here, he had chaired the Diocesan Board
for Social Responsibility. He was made a Canon of
Guildford Cathedral in 1986. He preached a social
gospel. He had a keen sense of history. He looked at
Gods involvement in our lives from a social and
historical perspective. He lived out his social
awareness in the places he chose to minister.
But he wasnt a
head-in-the-clouds social theorist either. He had a
warm heart and affection for people as people. He was
attentive to personal need. It was sandy who
introduced here shaking hands at the door after
service. And, whereas The Peace in Communion
had been an exchange of glances, and at best a smile
of recognition, it became under his ministry, a
moment to actually greet and press the flesh; from
where it has advanced to the free for all barn dance
and jamboree that we know and love today
He nurtured ministry in other people.
Carol Coslett and Robert Jenkins were Readers here
under Sandys ministry and are now ordained and
incumbents of their own parishes. Robert recalls how
it could be a dangerous thing to say to Sandy that
you wanted to get more involved. A tentative
Can I help? on Thursday of one week lead
to Robert starting on a Readers Course the
Sandy had high standards, in worship
and liturgy; dont you dare be late even if you
are a bride; he brought the church into the
community; he developed the church as a community so
that there was a greater sense of being a family and
of being welcome.
Following Sandy here as an incumbent
I was particularly grateful for the foundation he had
laid, and for his sensitivity to my ministry. He
didnt look over my shoulder and gave me space.
A good example I intend to follow myself.
So, we give thanks today for Sandy:
for his life and for his ministry. The reading he
chose for today is full of hope and reassurance for
the future. Jesus says:
I will not leave you bereft. I
am coming back to you; he who loved me will be loved
by my father. Peace is my particular gift to you; set
your troubled hearts at rest.
Any parting from those we love is a
source of great sadness. Jesus words give hope
of both: a life yet to come beyond what we presently
see and know; and also of peace for our own hearts
when left behind with uncertainty and emptiness.
Our eternal hopes are not best
expressed in any scientific or matter of fact way.
Another clerical diarist, Francis Kilvert, offers us
a picture and metaphor in words that speak eloquently
of resurrection and new life. He wrote this on the
Sunday next before Lent, which this year was last
Sunday, but when Kilvert wrote was March 3rd and the
Quinquagesima Sunday, 3 March
As I walked in the Churchyard this morning the
fresh sweet sunny air was full of the singing of
the birds and the brightness and gladness of the
Spring. Some of the graves were as white as snow
with snowdrops. The southern side of the
Churchyard was crowded with a multitude of
tombstones. They stood thick together, some
taller, some shorter, some looking over the
shoulders of others, and as they stood up all
looking one way and facing the morning sun they
looked like a crowd of men, and it seemed as if
the morning of the Resurrection had come and the
sleepers had arisen from their graves and were
standing upon their feet silent and solemn, all
looking toward the East to meet the Rising of the
Sun. The whole air was melodious with the distant
indefinite sound of sweet bells that seemed to be
ringing from every quarter by turns, now from the
hill, now from the valley, now from the deer
forest, now from the river. The chimes rose and
fell, swelled and grew faint again.
Kilvert's Diary 1870-1879 - A Selection
Edited and Introduced by William Plomer
A picture of Spring in a country
churchyard, a picture to us of new life beyond the
grave that Sandy preached and lived.
We commit him today to his eternal
rest. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Later in the day there was a short
funeral service at the Leatherhead Crematorium
Ann and family invited those present at the Service of
Thanksgiving to join them to share memories and
refreshments at the Parish Church Hall.