The mood, this morning, at Southwark Cathedral was very subdued following the death of the Dean, The Very Reverend Colin Slee, in the early hours of Thursday 25 November. This is in marked contrast to Advent 1 last year when the congregation broke into spontaneous applause at the return to duty of Colin after major heart surgery.
I had only known Colin for around 16 months, however he was a most welcoming person with an infectious sense of humour. Most of all he was a thoughtful person. His vision has taken Southwark Cathedral to where it is at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
At this morning’s Eucharist, +Richard, Bishop of Kingston, introduced the service with words about Colin. Andrew Nunn, the Sub-Dean, preached on the theme of Advent 1, but kept coming back to Colin and his thoughts since he got the fateful phonecall in the early hours of Thursday morning. Andrew quoted the W.H. Auden poem – Stop all the Clocks – made well known for it use in the funeral sequence of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. I can not do justice to Andrew’s sermon, however thanks to his kind permission I have posted a copy.
- Andrew’s sermon on the Cathedral Website.
Two touches in the Cathedral, firstly a burning candle and red roses next to a picture of Colin on the tower step, and secondly a stole on the end of the Dean’s Stall.
The Requiem for Colin’s life will take place in Southwark Cathedral at 11am on Saturday 4 December 2010, with +Richard presiding and Jeffery John, Dean of St Albans, preaching.
Grant him O Lord rest eternal : and let light perpetual shine upon him.