RIP John Richardson, The Ugley Vicar

I am sorry to see that it is nearly a year since I last posted here. I never intended to stop blogging, and I might yet start again regularly. Meanwhile Gentle Wisdom is still getting over 100 visits most days. The issue is that life has been busy for me here in Virginia, as the manager of a growing business and an active member of a lively church. At least by posting occasionally I can reassure anyone still following this blog that I am alive and well.

John RichardsonSadly I cannot say the same about my fellow blogger John Richardson, who blogged as The Ugley Vicar and elsewhere. This morning I heard the sad news that, after a short illness, he has passed away and gone to be with his Lord.

John was in fact the only other regular blogger who I also met, more than rather briefly, during the time we were blogging. For a time we both served on the committee of the Chelmsford Diocesan Evangelical Association. We had several other things in common: not only were we members of the Church of England in the same diocese, but we also started blogging as single men in our 50s, and we both got married for the first time as bloggers (but not to bloggers!) and continued to blog as married men.

There were of course many issues which we disagreed on, and enjoyed sparring about. He would probably remember me best as the person who repeatedly advised him to leave the Church of England – in each case because he would not accept a decision of the church leadership. Ironically, he remained within that church while I left it. But then for him the Church of England was a body he was ordained into and deeply committed to, even when he disagreed with its leadership, whereas for me it was little more than the denomination I happened to be in at the time.

Nevertheless on what mattered John and I were united: on the heart of the gospel, and on the pressing need to see that message presented clearly to the people of England and of the whole world. He will be sadly missed.