Honouring Arthur Spikins

Before I had finished my training to become a vicar, I visited Rev Tom here in Isleworth in 2013. The week I visited coincided with an event where Arthur was honoured by the Bishop of Kensington with the St Mellitus medal at a service here for his contribution as a lay minister in this parish over 60 years. I got a sense then that Arthur was someone very special to this parish, and I wasn’t wrong. 

Many people I meet in the parish still ask after Arthur and recall how he pastorally walked alongside them through baptisms, weddings or funerals and much else besides. It is no joke that when it comes to St John’s most people recall Arthur and Betty, rather than any vicars! In the last few years, Arthur has done so much to support myself and our family in ministry in Isleworth and has shown kindness, wisdom, enthusiasm and patience in the midst of the changes happening around him. At St Mary’s, I wear Arthur’s “hand-me-down” robes. Sometimes, when I prepare for sermons I consult Arthur’s “hand-me-down” books. Arthur particularly showed grace to me when I arrived late for the first service we had to do together at Atfield House. My excuse was that my watch had stopped working (genuinely!) and I hadn’t realised the time.

I continue to pop in on Arthur and seek his counsel about one or two aspects of parish life and Arthur has plenty still to offer drawing on his decades of experience in this part of London. Arthur has always been committed in prayer – a regular at our church prayer meetings and PCC and until recently Arthur has written the intercessions we use in church on Sundays and during the week. Many have been nourished by the words and example in prayer that Arthur has offered with God’s help and by his warm and generous welcome.

Last Sunday at church we wanted to honour the contribution of Arthur Spikins to church life. Rev Tom Gillum and Rev John Kafwanka wrote words for Arthur which, along with many other notes of memory and encouragement, were included in a little book which the Ardron family compiled for Arthur. And so as a church we all want to say thank you, Arthur, for all you’ve done for so many over so many years and we wish you excellent health and the comfort of God’s presence in Atfield House. We look forward to seeing you whenever you can be with us.  

David Maclure