Five words from our two readings that sum up the best of the character of the man we have gathered to remember today – from our first reading (1 Corinthians; 13) – FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, and from our second reading (John 1: 1-14) GRACE and TRUTH. It is always difficult, if not impossible, to sum up in a few minutes the essence of a life, especially one as full and active as Trevor’s, but those five words are not a bad place to start.
Taking them in reverse order: GRACE – and focusing first on the outer man, Trevor was a man of grace. As you can see from his photograph he was handsome, always well turned out, erect and upright as befitted a former Captain in the Royal Marines in which he served during the war and a former cadet of Pangbourne Nautical College where he was educated, finishing as Chief Cadet Captain. He was a stylish man who liked beautiful things; his little house at Chelsea and his apartment in Charterhouse were full of beautiful things, the treasures of a lifetime. In the 1920’s the great divide was between aesthetes and hearties: I would number Trevor among the aesthetes of this world. His love of the gracious side of living was given full play during his time as Executive Officer of the Bond Street Association.
But there was much more to Trevor than just being a lover of fine things. His upright posture was a clue to his upright nature: he was a man of TRUTH. He spoke the truth, he believed in honest speaking, he possessed the gift of wisdom which grew as the years went by. He certainly held firm views on many things, but he always spoke them out: he was not devious or manipulative. He was always straightforward in his dealings with others – a man of integrity.
But uprightness and truth by themselves can be somewhat cold virtues and Trevor was not that, because he was a man who showed LOVE. Your presence today in such large numbers is a testimony to his warmth and capacity for friendship. Over the years he made many friends and there were a few with whom he was especially close. As Churchwarden at St Bride’s he always wanted to ensure that visitors to the church received a warm welcome and he would be there at the door to greet you with a smile and a ‘Welcome to St Bride’s’.
I know one person today has particular reason to be grateful for Trevor’s love and friendship – Raja Halder, whom he met in India when Trevor worked for Air India as their Head of Publicity and to whom he has been a devoted patron and father-figure ever since. Your success, Raja, gave Trevor huge satisfaction and pride: thank you for playing the violin in his memory today. Your achievements are yours, but also a testimony to Trevor as a man of HOPE, spotting your potential and helping to make it a reality. Hope is not blind optimism, it is an active putting of your trust in the future, and it is linked in Trevor’s life to his FAITH. I shall remember Trevor as above all a man of faith, embryonic since childhood, and kindled into new life by his association with this church.
Trevor came to St Bride’s because of a Publicity Club Carol Service, and felt immediately at home, and here he stayed, fed and sustained by the worship and the music, becoming a Guildsman in 1972 and Churchwarden in 1976. He exercised a real ministry here for half his lifetime and we have cause to be deeply grateful for all he gave to the life of this church. In writing about his faith five years ago he said this:-
“As I grow older I feel God strong in me – more so when I worship in St Bride’s. In Matthew 6 he writes ‘for where your treasure is there will your heart be also’ My treasure is the community, ministry and worship of St Bride’s.”
And I know Trevor would have wanted latterly to add ‘The Community of Charterhouse’ where he has lived for the last 10 years; ‘one of the best decisions I have ever made’. There he found new friendships, physical and spiritual sustenance, and a wonderful sense of security. Looking back over his life he felt himself truly fortunate and truly blessed: he had had some wonderful experiences and known some lovely people – and we in turn, all of us here who were privileged to be part of that life, have know a lovely man, a man of GRACE and TRUTH, of LOVE and HOPE, but above all a man of FAITH. A faith which sustained him to the last and in which he died. Trevor, dear Trevor, may you rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.