“Take me when you want me Lord, but I’m in no hurry!”


John is a man with a heart for community. It reaches from the homeless on our streets, to our collective responsibility to care for our planet and to the wondrous scale of the universe stretching across our night skies. “I am constantly overwhelmed by the truth that the all powerful God who created the vastness of the stars and the extraordinary beauty in the minutiae of nature could be bothered to care for me!”

And John isn’t a man to be glib. He came to Cornwall in 1967 to lecture in an innovation, little known at the time, called computers. He was at the vanguard of teaching, sharing his explorations with what was Cornwall Technical College and all the local schools. This was a time when computers were the size of an average Cornish bungalow and everyone lived in black and white, according to children today.

Worshiping at St John’s, John was quickly entrenched in the roles of church warden, treasurer, PCC member and, he laughs, general dogsbody. As he says, “I can’t sit on a pew doing nothing!” Now aged 90, he might be forgiven if he did just that. But every Friday evening, John can be found in the church hall providing a hot meal for Truro’s homeless. John has earned their trust. He chats, doesn’t ask questions but prays with them, which, he says, many are happy to do. “Making friends and doing something for others is what Jesus would have us do,” says John. Needless to say, he’s made a lot of friends.

Aside from becoming a lay worship leader and taking the monthly morning prayer service, another of John’s current commitments is his role as guide for Truro Cathedral. He loves it, not just sharing his joy for the Gospel-telling windows, the Calvary paintings and St Mary’s Aisle, but his belief in community. “It’s all about community…I’m aware that I’m serving God, but I’m serving Him by serving the community,” he says.

When asked how John has seen God moving in his life, he quickly responded that it was through the quiet presence of his wife of 58 years, Menai, who died in 2010, and his children and grandchildren. “The love we have is more than biological, it’s a shared relationship that is beautiful and God given.”

John’s nomination for the Cross of St Piran Award is deserved recognition for a life spent serving his community in all its aspects.