Gone but not forgotten

During some equality and diversity training at work today, I found myself thinking about my father.  He was born in 1938, was from a thoroughly conservative family and went to public school and Oxford University. With that background you would be forgiven for thinking that the reason I thought of him was because he espoused views that were at odds with the concepts of inclusivity, access and diversity being discussed.

But you would be wrong. He had a passion for inclusiveness that was years ahead of its time.  When the debate about the ordination of women was raging in the church of England, our house was festooned with tea towels and t-shirts carrying slogans like “A woman’s place is in the house…of bishops” and “God is an equal opportunities employer.  Pity about the church.”

He was passionate about using inclusive language in his services, finding imaginative settings for hymns and prayers to avoid assigning a gender to either God or members of the congregation.

When, pre care in the community, his ministry included two institutions for people with severe learning difficulties, he found ways of setting parts of the communion service to secular music that the residents knew.  If you’ve never sung “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might” to the tune of Lily Marlene then you haven’t lived.

When I adopted a vegan diet, his support was wholehearted and he experimented for days to develop a vegan pancake recipe, hard to come by pre-google.

I grew up knowing that whatever I wanted to do, I could do it, and that whoever I wanted to be, I could be it.  He was a remarkable man, and I am incredibly lucky to have had him for my father.

Happy Birthday.


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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15 Responses to Gone but not forgotten

  1. fortnightflo says:

    What a wonderful role model.

  2. Athena says:

    what wonderful stories and memories you have of your dad! Thanks for sharing them.

  3. I know I have only “met” your father through your blog entry but I feel honoured to share my birthday with a man who appears to have been ahead of his times. Wonderful blog entry.

  4. plustenner says:

    lovely post, your dad was a special man..

  5. Rachel B says:

    A great blog and tribute to a wonderful sounding man and father on his birthday.

  6. runtezza says:

    Inpsiring stuff — thanks for sharing your dad!

  7. There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.  ~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

  8. zoecakes says:

    Your father sounds like a wonderful man!

  9. ewoodeson says:

    What a great sounding Dad.

  10. jensruns2011 says:

    What a lovely post, you Dad sounds like he was a great man and an amazing Father to you 🙂

  11. henniemavis says:

    Your post is just lovely… and Ian’s comment makes it all the moreso! What great things you remember about him to honor his birthday 🙂

  12. swimcyclerun says:

    How lucky you were to have had such a supportive father.

  13. Katrina says:

    He sounds like a wonderful man xx

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