Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A country funeral

Musta been funny anyway!
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Yesterday, unbelievably when I look at this jolly photo from last June, we attended the funeral of Canon Roy Flatt, on the right of the pic. I've never been to a church service where more than half the congregation were outside the church: such was the crowd that turned up at Christ Church, Lochgilphead, that we stood in the grounds - some under awnings that (unnecessarily, as it turned out) sheltered the speakers that relayed the proceedings, some in the sun under the trees.

Roy had made up the order of service himself, and there was much poetry and good moments of silence in which we could hear the rooks in the tall trees of the churchyard. It felt very calm, and very natural. The coffin was carried past us at the end, to the strange combination of Nunc Dimittis and When the Saints go Marching in, and the burial took place opposite the church porch. Our feet sank in the moss, we moved from the chilly shade into the warm sun, and it was over.

This was the best kind of funeral: a day was full of calm and affirmation and warmth of greeting and friendship. The drive home was glorious, and the world felt peaceful.

RIP, Roy.


  1. Roy was my curate when I was serving as Rector of St. Andrew's, St. Andrews in the late 1970s and early 80s. We got on well and Andrina also became a good friend to my wife and me.

    Roy was a quiet and gentle soul, overcoming his deafness with patience and fortitude. He served the congregation of St. John's, Pittenween with diligence, first as Deacon and then Priest. He was also a valued member of our St. Andrews and East Neuk Team Ministry, serving alongside the late Gregor Macgregor (then Priest in Charge of St. Michael's, Elie), who subsequently became the Bishop of Moray.

    I am glad of my long-time friendship with this fine human being and sensitive Christian priest.


  2. I was lucky enough to have known Roy for over 30 years, firstly when he buried my wife's uncle Canon John Bisset, in the East Neuk of Fife.

    He was very helpful during a difficult time in my religious journey, and latterly we took our choir Angelus Singers to sing Evensong in lovely Christ Church.

    He was full of humour, common sense, a deep feeling of love for his fellow-man, and was not impressed with pomposity.

    It was lovely to be with his friends at the meeting on Monday at Lochgilphead, when the great outpouring of love for this wonderful man was evident.

    May he rest in peace from his labours.