Sunday, May 13, 2012


My dear friend Ian Masson has died today, following complications that arose after brain surgery. 

He was a member at St Catherine's in Pontypridd, and more than that - parish secretary, server at the 11am, and faithful servant to many, many people in that place, quietly getting on with godliness so that everyone else could have the limelight.

He used to read this blog regularly, as well as pay remarkable attention to my sermons. I once reported a joke by a cousin of mine: "Iron Man is a film; iron woman is a command". Ian emailed back - 
I just told Sam the 'IronMan...' definition you mentioned, and she said I was dicing with death.....(!) at least, I'm not bruised - yet...
Sam was the remarkable heart & soul of his life. His faith was at the core of his being; but he was a quiet man, and seemed often almost reclusive. And then came Sam. Suddenly, Ian blossomed. He came alive, and we saw things we never knew. He brought his baking to church (and often there was extra for me of that tarte tatin or the lemon sponge); we now got to see his dry humour, and the twinkle that lived under the surface upped and dwelt in full view. It's so sad they didn't have longer together; it's so wonderful they had what time they had. It changed Ian's life.
I could write many stories. Honestly, all I want to do is say this: I am grateful that he was my friend. The photo here is from an evening when I was ill, and Ian & Sam sat with me & blessed me more than words can say by their kindness. Such is a friend. I know he knew what this surgery could mean, and I am sadder than my words can convey. But Ian was a godly man, someone for whom the Scripture in Matthew 25 was written - 'Well done, good and faithful servant".  

We pray blessings and comfort and hope upon Sam through these days; and dear Ian for you, rest in peace, and rise in glory.  


Life has its ways. 

In the days leading up to Ian's funeral the trouble which I had with my back earlier in the year, leading to an operation in February, recurred. It was enormously painful. I literally couldn't drive five minutes, never mind five hours down to South Wales. On the day of the funeral, a beautiful, sunny, warm day, my dad came over from Accrington to Leeds to get me to the medical centre for treatment.

So at two in the afternoon, when I knew everyone was gathered to say their farewells and take their leave and celebrate their love and Ian's life, I took time to join them in prayer from a distance. Someone sent a text to say how much Ian thought of me. Right back at you. 

I shall be down that way at some point and as with so many friends there through the years I shall find the spot that now marks his passing and again apologise for my absence at the funeral. And again thank him for his presence in my life.  

1 comment:

juliabk said...

Thank you Marcus for these words about Ian, my friend since infant school. A steadfast, faithful, peaceful presence with beautiful hidden depths. We are shocked at his passing and will miss him greatly. May he indeed rest in peace and rise in glory. Julia BK