To Dundee yesterday for the Requiem for Trevor Stephens, a friend and colleague who died a month ago. I had not been able to go to the funeral itself down in Newcastle and this was a special service one month on from Trevor’s death.

It was good to be with others and to have the chance to grieve together. There is a numbing mindlessness about Trevor dying now which will take a long time to ease.

The service was in St Salvador’s, the Hilltown church in Dundee. And in the 1950s. It was led by Bishop Neville. There was something rather splendid about the uncompromising nature of the service. So many funerals are attempts to stifle grief and a denial of how people are really feeling. I want black vestments when I die.

The organist’s hymn playing was extraordinary. Indeed, I cannot remember anything so creative since hearing Simon Lindley at Pentecost in Leeds Parish Church about 20 years ago.

The combination of tears and triumph at a young priest’s death is strange and mysterious, and I was glad to have been part of it.

Trevor Stephens – Rest in Peace


  1. Anonymous says

    Re: Requiem

    It is good to be with others who share your faith when sad things happen.  You draw strength from each other.  o­ne of the most important things you have taught your congregation, is that it is ok to be honest about your feelings, it is ok to feel sad sometimes, it is right to grieve and through faith, God will show you the way forward.
    Thank you for teaching me this.  I hope you can draw strength from it too.

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