On Saturday my husband drew my attention to the obituary of the Rev Michael Newman. On closer reading, we found he was indeed the Michael Newman who “married us” in 1972. In fact, Michael was rather responsible for us getting married at all. My plan as a 20-something was to find a job and flat away from home and “live in sin” with my boyfriend. Unexpectedly, in February 1972, I found myself in hospital having my appendix out and, as I had entered “Methodist” on the admission form (on the basis of attending Sunday school and the occasional Christmas service), Michael turned up at my bedside. He remarked on the flowers I had received from my boyfriend and almost the next minute he had enrolled us in “marriage preparation classes”. We married that May and, if I remember rightly, he sent us a wedding anniversary card for about five years after that.
In 1977 Michael led the funeral service for my father. As was the custom, we duly invited him back to the family lunch afterwards, expecting him to decline. To our surprise he turned up and happily “mucked in” with the family. Michael’s demeanour had led us to think he was a rather shy, old-fashioned type. Reading of his long career and many achievements and leisure interests confirms this was a false impression.
We remain happily married after nearly 50 years – so thank you, Michael.