Saturday, 27 August 2016

Ian Godfrey

A man of faith, humility and great courage in the face of health issues in his final weeks was how the Rev Ian Godfrey was remembered in tributes at his funeral in Goostrey. 
  But even as he was desperately poorly in a Manchester hospital, Ian was already planning for his work in the parishes once he was discharged, said the Archdeacon of Macclesfield, the Venerable Ian Bishop.
Leaving Goostrey for Swettenham
 The Vicar of St Luke's, Goostrey, and St Peter's, Swettenham, Ian's death stunned villagers in the twin communities. St Luke's was packed with family, close friends, parishoners and clergy for the service relayed to an overspill congregation gathered in the churchyard. For the committal at St Peter's church, Swettenham, Ian was transferred to a  carriage drawn by two black-plumed cobs to spend two minutes outside the church before the service.
 The formality of the 80-minute  funeral service conducted by the archdeacon and presided over by Dr Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, was also an occasion of celebration for the life of Ian.
 A knot of clergymen  led by Dr Forster processed to the church from Goostrey school in advance of the funeral service on a day blessed with sunshine.  And almost at the moment the service began a thrush, apparently hidden from view in the churchyard's 1,000-year-old yew tree, broke into song as if making its own tribute to a much loved vicar.
 Ian, who was 59, moved to Goostrey in March 2011, with his wife, Audrey and their daughter Louise from Mill Hill, London. Their two older children, Matthew and Christopher, continued to live in Mill Hill.
Ian is carried from St  Luke's
 Ian joined Barclay's Bank after leaving school and after a successful career spanning 35 years, he was a corporate director when he made the decision to become a full-time minister.  He was ordained priest in June 2002 at Hampstead Parish Church and was inducted as vicar in April 2011 at St Luke's, Goostrey, where his arrival was described as a "breath of fresh air..."
A section of the overspill congregation
The Rev Pat Jones,a friend and team vicar of Thatcham, spoke of Ian's life, his love of football, cricket, singing, the fact he was nicknamed "Goozie"  from primary school and sometime quirky aspects of his personality, such as being hooked on train spotting, and he was a devoted family man, with Audrey as his rock. "We all have fond memories of  Ian and can share in his humility, courage and faith". 
  Venerable Bishop said Ian served his communities beyond all expectations.
 "Time spent with him was time gained not lost," said the archdeacon.
Ian with Bishop Richard  Courtesy
 "He was genuinely a faithful man and even when struggling with his health, he would not give in. He never bemoaned his health issues. A week before he died he was planning his return to work." Canon Martin Poll, chaplain of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, a close friend of Ian and his wife, and a former curate of John Keble Church, read the gospel during the service.
 Ian was at Goostrey Rose Festival where he chatted and joked with villagers and was at St Luke's for the parish communion service at the end of July. It was also in July that he travelled to John Keble Church for the patronal festival where he administered the chalice, and afterwards attended evensong officiated by the Bishop of London, the Rev and Rt Hon. Richard Chartres, who ordained Ian. 
*Double-click images to enlarge 

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