Reverend John David Rose, 1940-2013

By on Monday, August 26, 2013

david_roseReverend Canon John Taylor, the Vicar of Prescot, has kindly given Prescot Online permission to publish the manuscript of his funeral address for the late Reverend David Rose.

David passed away in the early hours of Thursday 15 August 2013, at the age of 73. As well as a priest, he was the long-time proprietor of The Wool Shop, Eccleston Street.

Dozens of Prescotians have paid tribute in this Facebook thread.

Reverend David Rose

According to the New Testament, all Christian people are saint. The very fact we try to follow Christ and are in relationship with him means we are saints, even if we don’t feel very saintly.

But from its earliest days the Church has acknowledged that some people’s walk with God is closer than others’, and I would suggest that our dear friend the Reverend David Rose was one of those people. His walk with God was so close that it allowed the light of Christ’s love to shine through him.

As Derek has said [in the eulogy], David exemplified that great Christian virtue of humility. Humility is a virtue which in this age of celebrity is often disregarded or seen as weakness. David’s humility gave him great strength of character and generosity. He was a man of complete integrity, and when he set his mind to something, he was also a man of gentle determination. If he can hear what good things people are saying about him, I suspect he will be cringing with embarrassment.

Not pushing himself forward, he allowed others to grow in his presence. As someone wrote to me in an email, ‘David always made me feel better about myself.’ When it was my first Easter in the Parish, I asked David, ‘What do we normally do?’ And with a characteristic smile, he answered, ‘We will do whatever you want, Vicar.’ I can safely say that David was one of the people who taught me how to be Vicar of Prescot.

David’s character allowed him to be generous in his assessment of others. When people did foolish things or got things wrong, as far as David was concerned they were simply demonstrating their humanity.

Like the good Lord himself, David loved people. Working in the Wool Shop, he preferred being behind the counter dealing with customers, rather than upstairs doing the books. David was a people person and had great people skills.

He once told me that if he had his way, a part of clergy training would be to spend a year in retail, because it would help clergy handle their parishioners better.

Through his work in the shop, his service to our town and his ministry in the Church, David has touched the lives of many people. Here at Prescot Church he has been the Sunday School Superintendent, the Lay Reader and, of course, a faithful, loving and much-loved priest.

If we were able to break David in half like stick of rock, we would find there three Ls written through the centre: Love of God, Love of Family and Love of Prescot Parish and Town.

The post-communion prayer for All Saints Day says this: ‘God of holiness, your glory is proclaimed in every age: as we rejoice in the faith of your saints,
inspire us to follow their example with boldness and joy.’

The most fitting tribute we can pay to David is to follow his good example with boldness and joy; to be faithful in our service, to be generous in our dealings with each other and to allow love to shine through our lives.

David was a loving, Christian gentleman of great and unshakable faith; and as I once heard him say at a funeral, I commend that faith to you all.

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