A View From The Vicarage, August 2017

Dear Friends

Anybody travelling around Kington over the past few weeks cannot fail to have noticed the embellishments that have been made to the Hatton Garden’s roundabout within sight of The Tavern.  All of which have been done as a spontaneous demonstration of affection for a much loved and deeply respected member of the local community.  I am, of course, referring to the reaction to the sudden and unexpected death of “Wizard” or Michael David East as I’ve only discovered was his real name, since the news broke of his untimely death.

For many of us, myself very much included, Wizard was a much admired fixture of the community, the sight of his skinny jeans and the sound of the rock music which heralded his arrival, brightened an otherwise ordinary day.  You knew instinctively that some humorous anecdote from his past or observation on the present would be forthcoming and soon!  But you would have been equally aware that you were in the presence of someone who was extremely skilled and equally industrious, a “worker” if ever there was one.

Wizard was someone who seemed to have distinct aroma of immortality about him.  He seemed such an integral and vital part of the community in and around Kington.  How could such a person change?  How could there ever be a time when he was not around?  And yet, of course, like all of the rest of us mortal he is.  But the shock, and incredulity of his sudden death will take time to dissipate.  I have no doubt that the respect, friendship and genuine love felt for him by so many will have been reflected by the attendance at his funeral, a moment which I’m equally certain will live long in the annuals of Lyonshall Church.  And,  lets remember that a funeral is a celebration of life as much as it is the commending of the departed to God’s living care.

We grieve because we love, we give thanks for the way that “Wizard” cast his own particular brand of magic into the lives of so many and above all, we respect his memory by carrying on with the work that he did with such cheerfulness and grace for as it turned out too short a time!

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

With my love and prayers as always.


Ben Griffith