Friends - This isn’t the New Year newsletter that I expected or wanted to write!
It is with great sorrow and acute pain that I have to inform you of the untimely death of our dear friend Barrie Renwick. After spending a joyous Christmas and New Year at his beloved Lee Abbey, Barrie returned home where it appears he passed away quite suddenly and unexpectedly.
Barrie was our longest serving associate. He first encountered CMM at our Hull production of GREATER THAN GOLD (1983-84), and since then has been a regular at most of our holiday weeks, UK tours (where he was the Hull organiser) overseas tours, and as a soloist, helper and driver at many of our days and weekends. To say that CMM will not be the same again is a gross understatement. He was our dear friend and part of the family!
But, in the midst of our grief and tears we know that there is another reality – that Barrie is now with Jesus in a place more perfect than we can ever imagine or describe. I quote from Helen’s Facebook post of yesterday:
Friend. Where you are now there is no more sadness. You will never ever be alone again. Pain is no more. The weather will always be just right for the perfect photo. All is beautiful, peaceful, joyful and glorious. And the cricket will be so, so good.
This is not “pie in the sky” wishful thinking. Those of us who know and follow Jesus have a certain future and a secure hope. This does not take the pain away but helps us to live through it and see beyond it. “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim 1:12)
It is appropriate to mention our free Epiphany SONG OF THE MONTH “As with gladness”, from STARGAZERS. The last verse says it for Barrie and us all:
In the heavenly country bright need they no created light
Thou its light, its joy, its crown Thou its sun which goes not down
There for ever may we sing: Alleluias to our King!
May Jesus bless you all!