Cross of St Piran 2017: Kevin Grant
When Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love your God with all your heart and soul and the next is to love your neighbour, Kevin knew He wasn’t kidding.
Capturing the essence of Kevin is like trying to hold onto sunshine. Christian love and kindness radiates from him. A Roman Catholic who adores his chosen church, Kevin has spent a lifetime quietly reaching out, building bridges and just loving people no matter where they are. That could be in the Catholic church, the Anglican, Methodist or the local pub.
Kevin is a Roman Catholic Eucharistic Minister, but has also trained as a worship leader within the Anglican St Martin’s Church, sings in their choir, plays the organ, arranges flowers and even cleans the church. “When I’ve finished cleaning, I approach the altar where I meet with God and give thanks for all the blessings He has given me, allowing me to work across His churches.”
He was a postman for over twenty years, a job he combined with his on-going position with a funeral director. So Kevin understands community, having worked within it and for it. He’s often with people at their lowest ebb, understanding that to be so is a privilege and a responsibility. When the hiatus of a funeral is over and the world starts moving on, Kevin takes the time to go back and visit the family. “Just to check they’re okay, if there’s anything that can be done or just to be there so they can have a good cry.”
Kevin is also, among many other things, a chaplain to the British Legion. “It can be hard,” he says. “People have seen or been part of truly awful things. Forgiveness is something that can be difficult to grasp, especially if you cannot forgive yourself. I am there to constantly reassure that Jesus forgives, loves and washes them clean.”
Thirty years ago, Kevin helped pioneer the Churches Together initiative around Liskeard, creating a unified body of people who love to worship, pray, learn and have fun together. They share services in their respective churches, but they also reach out into the community with outdoor services in the cattle-market, the parks and the pub. The local church school, Kevin believes, is a wonderful opportunity for ministry, “People might comment that of all the children who go to the school, only a handful go to church – so I say, love them more!”
Loving them more is what Kevin does best. He does so through prayer, showing God’s love in action and holding on to the truth that, as he says, “I’m a Roman Catholic, but I’m a Christian first.”