I DONT KNOW WHETHER Janet and Phil Ketteringham ever owned a Welcome mat during their forty-year marriage to date, but I do know that anyone who ever met them – or theirs – has needed no such quaint assurance. For “Welcome” must have been written into the DNA of this extraordinary couple. A huge gathering of their family and friends celebrated their Ruby Wedding anniversary with them tonight; their lovely daughters, son and grandchildren, together with their families, siblings, friends from way back, and their most recent friends too.

And – basking in the warmth of a great love – there cannot have been a person present who didn’t feel that they were honoured members of one large family. Janet and Phil Ketteringham are amongst the best models of marriage I know, and shining examples in their very persons of what the Body of Christ is called to be – for and amongst every man, woman and child upon the face of the earth. St Michael & All Angels Bramhall is blessed beyond measure that former churchwarden Janet is, these days, our parish administrator – anchor, friend and confidante to vicar, present-day churchwardens, and virtually every area of our shared parochial life. And all of us owe Phil and the family for the support they afford Janet’s quite out-of-the-ordinary ministry.

Janet & Phil, accompanied by their young grand-daughter Eva, shared in prayers of Remembrance at 8am today on an anniversary of a searingly different kind. I thank God with all my heart that love and welcome like the Ketteringham’s – and that of countless millions of other praying souls today – shines with a brightness and a holiness that changes human hearts. In such love and in such wide familial embrace lies hope for the future of all humankind.

One thought on “FAMILIAL EMBRACE

  1. Dear Simon. You have been a great friend to me. Sorry not to have kept in touch but remember you warmly in prayer. How is that Goddaughter of mine? Good to see your blogg!

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