Funeral of Past Master Jimmy James Crook 20th February
Art 1215 on Friday the 20th February a number of Bowyers met at the Chequers Inn in Pulborough to attend the funeral of Past Master Jimmy James-Crook. After a light lunch the party walked across the road to St Mary's Church to be met at the foot of the hill by his son James who directed us to the lych gate by Phyllis and her daughter and daughter in law. On moving to the Church we were met by his son Neal before proceeding to take our seats in the Church.
The service began Vivaldis "The Four Seasons - Spring" as the coffin was carried into the nave of the Church. The coffin was topped by the most beautiful floral tribute of a selection of white flowers. Jimmy's grand daughters accompanied the coffin with baskets of flowers also beautifully arranged.
The opening hymn was Jersualem the School Hymn of both his prep school Northcliffe House and his public School Aldenham. After the hymn the Rural Dean the Reverend Paul Welch made a short speech of welcome in which he emphasised the need for people to say that they loved one another after which James James-Crook read the first lesson from St John's Gospel where Our Lord talks about his father's house having many mansion and advises his followers that he is the way, the truth and the light.
The rousing hymn Praise my Soul the King of Heaven then followed after which Neal James-Crook paid a short tribute to his father. He highlighted his carpentry skills which he had honed at School and came in useful when he joined the family firm and had to help make coffins I the workshop. A quiet man and undemonstrative man he nevertheless loved to see and enjoy the company of his grand children. He highlighted his short military career with the 3 Hussars he long and loving union with his wife Phyllis.
George Herbert's rousing hymn "Let All the World I Every Corner Sing" with music by Duson then followed. After which then Fr Paul gave a short homily based around the reading. The Choir then sang beautifully "The Lord bless you and keep you". Jimmy's granddaughter Laura Wytcherley then read the poem "Do not stand at my grave and weep" Prayers then followed with the Commendation during which the priest sprinkled the coffin with Holy Water and then the choir sang the Knight's Prayer "God be I my head and in my Understanding".
The final hymn was the "Lord of All hopefulness, Lord of all joy." The blessing then followed after which the coffin was moved outside the Church to the hearse. The Congregation followed and line the short lane outside the Church to see him off.
It was a dignified and moving ceremony with 13 members of the Company paying its respects to a Past Master, very much in keeping with the religious origins of the Livery Movement.
After the service the family kindly invited all present to attend a reception in the Village Hall.