“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love” or “Why he isn’t still in the Mortuary!”


The family were grief stricken when I saw them at their home.

The man’s death had come suddenly and, even though he was a good old age, it was a shock to them. In amidst the tears they told me about him; his life, achievements, and family – and then more tears flowed. “I don’t know how we’ll get through the day” they said. “And we don’t want a pauper’s funeral!

You may or may not be aware of how expensive a funeral can be. It is estimated that the average cost of laying someone to rest is £3500 –which is a huge whack of money for anyone; and an inconceivably large amount for this grieving family. And that was why I was there. Thankfully, after going from funeral director to funeral director – and being given quotes which they could never afford – they alighted on Bedwardine Funeral Services in St. Johns. As a smaller, independent firm they were able to cut costs to a bare minimum and help this family out. So when my friend from the firm contacted me to see if I would do the funeral for free, rather than the huge £180 which vicars charge, I was only too delighted to do so.

The funeral went well (if you know what I mean). The family were pleased that we had given him a good send-off; and I was happy that I had done a little bit to make a difference to this family. But the biggest credit goes to the Funeral Directors, who bust a gut (and no doubt their profit margins) to serve this family.

I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t stepped in; probably this much loved man would still be in the mortuary waiting for arrangements to be made. So here is to community; to local businesses that want to serve ; and to a spirit of generosity and compassion which this family received and this man deserved.
After all, as Mother Teresa reminds us: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

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