The Lambfold Benefice

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Welcome to the website of
The Lambfold Benefice

A group of five Anglican rural parishes

in the geographical centre of England



I am sitting writing these having just conducted the funeral of Barrie Osborne, long time
member of our community, churchwarden and stalwart supporter of the village and the
church. So it seems appropriate that these ramblings are dedicated to Barrie’s memory.
At his funeral we had as the biblical reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan- you
know the one a man going from Jerusalem to Jericho falls amongst thieves etc.- Jesus
told the parable in answer to a question which was posed to him by a member of the
Jewish legal tradition. ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Now as I remarked in my address Barrie
would never have needed to ask that question, for Barrie was a good friend and a good
neighbour to all who he came into contact with, and his passing will leave a void not just
for his immediate family, nor his extended family of the church at Blakesley but the
whole of the Blakeley community.
Barrie, Blakesley born and bred touched many parts of that community over his 85
years. He was a school governor, one of the founding members of the Blakesley Tennis
Club, member of the Blakesley agricultural society, choirboy, and adult chorister with a
fine baritone voice, and of course Barrie, with Dorothy at his side, farmed School Farm
on the Maidford Road for nearly 60 years, no mean achievement in this day and age.
So today was, as all funerals are, a sad event in one respect; but it was also a
celebration of a life well lived, and the life of a man who gave much to the community in
which he lived- so the sadness of the event was lifted by the joy of the life which we
celebrated. At the end of the service in church, Barrie’s grandson Peter read the
following poem which is so poignant and so Barrie, and of all the words which we used
in that service perhaps the most fitting tribute to a remarkable man who was, as I say, a
friend and good neighbour to all.
Close the gate’ Nancy Kraayenhof
For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head, your time has
been and struggles enough; put the tractor in the shed. Years were not easy, many
downright hard, but your faith in God transcended. Put away your tools and sleep in
peace; the fences have all been mended. You raised a fine family, worked the land well
and always followed the Son; hang up your shovel inside of the barn your work here on
earth is done. A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony
way. The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.
Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine; wash
off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time. You always believed
that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow; take off your gloves and
put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now. Your labour is done, your home
now is heaven; no more must you wait, your legacy lives on, -your love of the land;-and
we will close the gate.
‘May he rest in peace and rise in glory!’
Fr Tim.

Filling the Christ shaped hole in the heart of England

Contact Rev Tim Fernyhough, Rector of the Lambfold Benefice

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