Wednesday, 11 April 2018

My father's Memorial Service, Monday 9th April 2018, Shaftesbury Methodist Church.

Dr. Geoffrey Tapper (4th October 1931 - 2nd March 2018)

Below is my address at father’s Memorial Service.  The Methodist Church in Shaftesbury was full, and the volume of hymn singing, particularly for ‘How Great Thou Art’ (Stuart K. Hine, 1925) – was both wonderful and deeply moving.  It seemed the whole of Shaftesbury was roaring behind and above me during that first hymn.  Thanks to all who came.
The main tribute, detailing his great life, was given by my oldest brother, Henry, and is viewable here. It is well worth reading.  My shorter contribution is below:

“My father’s whole life was geared towards working in the spiritual realm of goodness – as directed by God – thy will not mine be done.

On the front of the order of service for both my father and his father’s funerals, was the same biblical quote:

Blessed is the Man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose Spirit there is no guile.

Simple, honest goodness mattered to him the most.  His inheritance to me, and to us all, is a spiritual one.

That is his still, small voice.  Still there. 

Taken from Kings 19, his poem ‘Still, small voice’ was preached as a sermon many times – several times from this spot.

For many of us, spiritual revelation does not come as a cymbal crash – 'the earthquake' and 'the storm' in the poem – but something that persists and is 'gentle', 'low', 'calm' and a 'whisper' – alternative words to 'still, small voice' used in newer translations of Kings 19.

Dad himself is that spiritual voice for me."

The Still Small, Voice (Geoffrey Tapper, 2001)

Elijah to Mount Sinai Fled

From the enchantress, Jezebel,

Israeli queen from outer Hell,

Or otherwise the man was dead.

The earthquake and the storm passed by,

The rain, the wind were not his choice,

Then from a quiet and cloudless sky

There came to him the still small voice.

How is it for the rest of us?

Do we respond to sound and fury?

Most of us are inured to fuss

And this world will not be the jury.

My joys are pensive, life is slow.

I sun sit on my patio,

Switch on some tape recorded hymns,

While sipping a reflective Pimms.


Shaftesbury Methodist Church where my father preached his Still, Small Voice Sermon several times, and where his Memorial Service took place.