Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Life of


Kit Widdows




Human being, friend, priest, husband, father, grandfather and much much more.


10th September 1946 – 8th December 2007

The Service in Church


Processional music:    From ‘The Creation’ by Haydn


Welcome by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne, Peter Arnold 


Funeral sentences during which the Advent candles are lit



Cry ‘Freedom!’ in the name of God

and let the cry resound;

proclaim for all that freedom

which in Jesus Christ is found,
for none of us is truly free
while anyone is bound.


Cry ‘Freedom!’ cry ‘Freedom!’
in God’s name, in God’s name!

Cry ‘Freedom!’ cry ‘Freedom!’
in God’s name!


Cry ‘Freedom!’ for the victims
of the earthquake and the rain:          

where wealthy folk find shelter                                                                   
and the poor must bear the pain;
where weapons claim resources
while the famine strikes again.


Cry ‘Freedom!’ for dictators

in their fortresses confined,

who hide behind their bodyguards

and fear the open mind,

and bid them find true freedom

in the good of humankind.


Cry ‘Freedom!’ in the church when

honest doubts are met with fear;

when vacuum-packed theology

makes questions disappear;

when journeys end before they start

and mystery is clear!


Cry ‘Freedom!’ when we find ourselves

imprisoned in our greed,

to live in free relationship

and meet each other’s need.

From self released for other’s good

we should be free indeed!

Michael Forster


In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All:       Amen.

The Lord be with you              

All:       And also with you.


The Rev’d Kevin Hunt introduces the liturgy:

The grace of God is dawning upon the world with healing for all. Though we have grieved him, yet he will heal us when we confess our sins in penitence and faith:


You, Lord, are the light of the world, and dispel the dark:
Lord, have mercy.

All:       Lord, have mercy.     


You watch over our journeying and are with us on the way:

Lord, have mercy.

All:       Lord, have mercy.     


Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light to my path:

Lord, have mercy.

All:       Lord, have mercy.     


May the God of light shine upon you,

forgive you your sins, guide you on your way
and bring you to the fullness of life;

All:       Amen.




Reading by Rev’d Clay Roundtree from the Epistle to the Romans.


This is the word of the Lord. 

All:       Thanks be to God.


Psalm 23. We all join with the following response:


All:       The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.



O Thou Who camest from above,
The fire celestial to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart.


There let it for Thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return
in humble prayer and fervent praise.


Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work and speak and think for Thee;
still let me guard the holy fire
and still stir up the gift in me.


Ready for all Thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death Thy endless mercies seal,
and make the sacrifice complete.

Charles Wesley









Reading by John Pearson from Kit’s novel ‘Fourth Witness’. It is Kit’s translation of St John’s Gospel, Chapter 1.

The reading is announced:

Hear the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All:       Glory to You, O Lord


Love began it.

Love is how God tells it.

Love is God.

Love lights a living lantern in the dark

            and its gentle strength wins over every shadow.


Love is not a Thing.

So those who say ‘to know’ means ‘know about’ cannot ‘know’ Love.

Love has no atoms and no molecules:

Love rates low in an ‘Enlightened’ age.


Love became human; an animal, and God.

And all who understand this themselves become all three.


Love came camping with us;

By day we climbed the hills,

            discovering the hidden lakes and unexpected views;

By night we drank and talked,

            discovering hidden views and unexpected depths.

We have shared all this

            from the First Sign to the Last Supper:

Love’s lantern burns in us

            and we in turn must light a lamp

Entering a world which,

            glitter blind, does not know Love.


This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:       Praise to You, O Christ.




The affirmation of faith:

We believe in God,

who is love and who has given the earth to all people.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
who came to heal us, and to free us from all kinds of oppression.

We believe in the Spirit of God,
who works in and through all who are turned towards the truth.

We believe in the community of faith,

which is called to be at the service of all people.

We believe in God’s power to transform and transfigure,
fulfilling the promise of a new heaven and a new earth
where justice and peace will flourish.



The response to ‘Lord, hear us’ is:

All:       Lord, graciously hear us.


 Geoff Rossman MBE  will offer a prayer in the Jewish tradition.


Reading by Rev’d  David Belcher from ‘Four Quartets’ by T S Eliot.



From heav’n you came, helpless babe,
Entered our world, your glory veiled;
Not to be served but to serve,
And give your life that we might live.


This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,

to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King


There in the garden of tears,
my heavy load he chose to bear;
His heart with sorrow was torn,
'Yet not my will but yours,' he said.


Come see his hands and his feet,
the scars that speak of sacrifice;
hands that flung stars into space
to cruel nails surrendered.


So let us learn how to serve,
and in our lives enthrone him;
each other's needs to prefer,
for it is Christ we're serving.

Graham Kendrick


The Thanksgiving Prayer:


The Lord is here.

All:       His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

All:       We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All:       It is right to give thanks and praise.


Blessed are you gracious God …

… evermore praising you and saying:


All:       Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


We praise and bless you, loving Father,

through Jesus Christ, our Lord;

and as we obey his command,

send your Holy Spirit,

that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.


On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.

He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.


When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.

Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:

Drink this, all of you;

This is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice
made once for all upon the cross.

Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,

we proclaim his death and resurrection
until he comes in glory.


All:       Dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life:

Lord Jesus, come in glory.


Lord of all life,

help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes
and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.

Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with St Thomas and all the saints,

together with Kit our brother,
to feast at your table in heaven.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father,
for ever and ever. Amen.





The Lord’s Prayer:

All:       Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.



A few words from Heather and Dominic Widdows.


The breaking of the bread and invitation to Communion:


Every time we eat this bread and drink this cup,

All:       We proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.


God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people.

All:       Jesus Christ is holy, Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.


As the bread and wine is passed we use the words:

‘The body of Christ’ and ‘The blood of Christ’.

To which each person responds,Amen’.



One more step along the world I go,
one more step along the world I go.
From the old things to the new
keep me travelling along with you.

And it's from the old I travel to the new,
keep me travelling along with you.

Round the corners of the world I turn,
more and more about the world I learn.
All the new things that I see
you’ll be looking at along with me.

As I travel through the bad and good,
keep me travelling the way I should.
Where I see no way to go,
you’ll be telling me the way, I know.

Give me courage when the world is rough,
keep me loving though the world is tough.
Leap and sing in all I do,
keep me travelling along with you.

You are older than the world can be,
you are younger than the life in me.
Ever old and ever new,
keep me travelling along with you.

Sidney Carter


After communion there will be a prayer after which we pray together.

All:       Father of All, we give you thanks and praise, that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.

Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Reading by Rev’d Ruth Parry, ‘Batter my Heart’ by John Donne.






Thine be the glory,

risen, conqu’ring Son,
endless is the vict’ry,

thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment

rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes

where thy body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us,

risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us,

scatters fear and gloom.
Let the Church with gladness,

hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth;

death hath lost its sting.


No more we doubt thee,

glorious Prince of Life;
life is naught without thee;

aid us in our strife.
Make us more than conqu’rors

through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan

to thy home above.

Edmund Loius Budry

Commendation by Bishop Paul and Bishop Martin.


Recessional Music:      Grand March from Aida


You are invited to go straight to the Civic Centre Banqueting Hall for a reception where Gillian and her children  look forward to seeing you when they return from the crematorium.



From Common Worship, 2000; © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.

 Words printed under Christian copyright Licence No. 28737





Live, Love and Laugh

Life is for Laughter

Brief breath of being

Hope on the heart-strings

Sensible seeing

Believe and be tentative

Nothing is absolute

Except what we choose.


Love might be absolute

But test it for trickery

Give to the Godhead

But settle for secondary.

Live for the moment

Moments of eternity

Love is an absolute

For freely we choose.


Laugh at my long-face

Defy my dogmatics

Help me to hopefulness,

Further my faith.

Teach me to try it;

Prepare me to pray it,

I’m my own absolute

O God, help me choose!


Kit Widdows

4th January 1998




All readings are available on the website (www.puttypeg.net/kit)