Two years ago near the beginning of the pandemic the world, and in particular the Creation Care family, lost a champion and a friend when Sir John Houghton left us. His memorial service was held only recently near his home in Wales, and the John Ray Institute (JRI) has an excellent report on the service from Martin Hodson.
The service was a wonderful and fitting tribute to Sir John. His widow, Sheila, who had organised the service in accordance with Sir John’s wishes, rose to thank all the people who had come, those who had taken part as he had hoped, and those who had helped to get the hall ready the previous day. She also illustrated the one love of Sir John’s which had not been mentioned previously, and that was music. Her final thanks were to the local organist, Tudur Jones, who had played throughout the service including a rousing rendition of Cwm Rhonda as the final hymn. She then announced he would play Sir John’s favourite organ piece, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, to conclude before a great spread of food was enjoyed…
…And so we all left Neuadd Dyfi, and went our separate ways. I reflected on a life well-lived, and the huge honour it has been to be a small part of the story. I just wish more people had taken Sir John seriously about climate change earlier. But sadly too many people are still not taking it seriously. Look at some of the recent UK government announcements on new oil fields, fracking, and coal mines. And our government is far from the only one. Consider the horrendous heatwave in India and Pakistan. We really are in a very perilous situation, and even now governments are in the grip of the fossil fuel lobby. Sir John had to battle with that lobby for many years. It is our job to take up that fight. May God help us all in this task.
May God raise up more like him.