By Sarah Bingham
I had thought in your last days
That I would be there beside you;
Telling jokes, telling you off
Telling you the things we never said.
I had thought in your last hours
That I would be holding your hand;
Smoothing sheets, smoothing your hair
Smoothing your passing with my tender touch.
I had thought at your last service
That I would be surrounded by
Loving friends, loving family,
Loving companions sharing my grief.
But nothing was as I thought.
Nothing was as I dreamed.
And now I grieve for you,
I also grieve for me and all those things that were not.
Toasting the unshaken
In normal times the month of May
Is filled with many a thing
Village green Maypole dancing
But for Baptists our BA!
A special time for all post-NAM
Though some perhaps do quake
A chance to look quite glam.
In Covid times hands are not taken
Nor can friends share a hug
Put champagne in your mug
For toasting the unshaken!
I am a Baptist minister in Walsall, though previously in Worthing and before that, East London. I’ve written poetry on all kinds of matters for the last 20 years or so. If people are interested in seeing me preach, services are on the Green Lane Church YouTube channel!
My brother died in January. My sister and I planned to have a cremation without ceremony and then to inter his ashes in our mother’s grave close to the date of her birthday in March. We had originally planned that date with our brother as the date to go and sow wild flower seeds on the grave. She only died 80 days before him. On that day, we planned to have a memorial service uniting family from Kent and Yorkshire, plus friends from his years living in Manchester. However, Covid interrupted and we have still not had his service…
The second poem is about the annual Baptist Assembly, the national gathering for the Baptist Union of Great Britain. It’s a conference, time of worship and also our formal charity AGM. All those who have finished their three years as Newly Accredited Ministers (NAMs) are formally welcomed into Accredited Ministry with handshakes from the out going and in coming Presidents of the BU. Usually, it is held in May. This year, it was held by zoom in the autumn… (this was knocked up in a hurry when a Facebook group of ministers decided to celebrate the NAM finishers in a zoom meeting!)