In the middle of the busy days of Holy Week comes the news that Jim Cotter has died.
Jim was a poet-priest – someone for whom words were as important as breathing. He wrote prayers in which unicorns danced.
He was also I think the first out gay priest I ever met, coming to preach in St Andrews about 25 years ago. I met him too in his house in Sheffield. I know also that he spoke here in St Mary’s many years ago and must have been part of the story that has led us to be the congregation that we are.
Jim was talking about gay clergy being out and living in the open years before anyone else did. Indeed, some of the things I talk about which people still think are rather radical, Jim was talking about a generation or more before. He was a visionary and a prophet and suffered a lot in life because of it.
Many, many people will have copies of his night prayers sitting beside the bed. I used them last night and thought about how many people have so much to be grateful for because of Jim Cotter.
God be in my gut and in my feeling
God be in my bowels and in my forgiving
God be in my loins and in my swiving
God be in my lungs and in my breathing
God be in my heart and in my loving
God be in my skin and in my touching
God be in my flesh and in my yearing
God be in my blood and in my living
God be in my bones and in my dying
God be at my end and at my reviving
May he rest in peace now at last.