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Funeral of Dr. John R. Ketteringham, 18th January 2016

I arrived at St. Giles Church in Lincoln just before 10:00am and went up the tower to ring on the half muffled bells. There was just time for a short touch of Grandsire Triples before the service. The final piece of ringing was diminishing rounds, where one bell stands at a time starting with the treble and finishing with the tenor.

Ringing prior to the service

The first hymn was "Abide with me", a favourite of John's and one of the first he played on the organ at the age of 14 or so, when he was unexpectedly dropped upon to play for a wedding.

There followed tributes from Mr. Bob Hardy who has known John for over 50 years and is a fellow College Youth and also from John's son, Stephen. The text of Bob Hardy's tribute has been re-produced here, with kind permission of both Mr Hardy and John's wife, Joan.

Afterwards there was a bible reading (John 14:1-6) followed by a short address by the Rev. Canon Nick Buck and then prayers for John's life and work, and for his friends and family who mourn him , concluding with the Lord's Prayer.

Before the service from the Organ Gallery

We then sang the Bellringers Hymn "Unchanging God".

The final reading was an extract from the poem "Gate of the Year" by Minni Haskins

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied:

"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

Canon Nick gave the final Commendation and then the cortege processed out, to a setting of the tune "The Lincolnshire Poacher", played on the organ by fellow ringer Les Townsend, who also played "Sheep may Safely Graze" by Bach.

In the Jubilee Hall

We then went next door to the Jubilee Hall to enjoy refreshments and reminisce about John.

Jonathan Clark