Canon David's 70th Birthday
Canon David was 70 years of age on Saturday 4th April. As this was already a special day dedicated to the Easter Vigil, a birthday party was held for him a week later on Saturday 11th April at St. John's. There was a an excellent turnout, a musical tribute, three fantastic birthday cakes, a lot of good conversation, lots of laughter and plenty of food and drink for all provided by the parishioners.
A musical tribute
Rupert Bevan led a quartet in a musical tribute to Canon David's life as a priest.
Tribute to Canon David Ryan on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday.
Sung to double chants
This birthday ode has been written in joyful gratitude by the Music Department of St John's. It celebrates the seventieth birthday of our beloved Parish Priest Father, no, Canon David Ryan, happily with us since his appointment in two thousand and eleven.
After seminary at Valladolid you found yourself at St Peter's Gloucester, under the direction of Canon Michael English. It must have been a surprise to find him happily retired at St Johns many years later!
Then followed two stints in Swindon. One of these was at Holy Rood, possibly the busiest parish in the diocese. You must have had your work cut out, looking after the spiritual needs of some three thousand church-goers!
Then you went to St Mary's, Tovey Road; a smaller parish but still quite sizeable in terms of the diocese as a whole. The demise of the railway sheds and the motor industry must have affected the parishes deeply.
From Swindon you were posted to Warminster. This time your Boreham Wood church was filled with parishioners in uniform. Here at St Johns we have detected the affection you have for the armed forces and wonder whether it originates I from your time in that town.
Previous to your arrival at St John's, you ministered to a flock scattered through the Stroud Valleys. Painswick, Sheepscombe and Slad, Catholicism grazed innocently on the Cotswold slopes, punctuated by weekly visits to Beeches Green to sing hymns to the sound of Elgar's pipe organ and listen to your homily.
What a surprise to receive your orders to take charge of St John's! We hope it was a pleasant one; did you pass Father Tom Gunning on the A forty-six? He was going in the opposite direction!
Not long after your induction, plans to celebrate the sesquicentenary of St Johns were discussed. The events planned involved much deliberation amongst St John's Mass goers and you are to be congratulated for persuading them to give their time and get involved.
In the end the celebrations I were successful, attracting many people to St Johns and drawing the Parish together.
We have also seen great improvements to the church in recent years. None could have been effected without your interest and support: new servers, new readers, new Eucharistic ministers, lecturers, welcomers, musicians etcetera.
The cassock with purple beading testifies to the high regard the Bishop has for you. Does he know about the golfing jumper that it conceals?
The new lighting scheme somehow encapsulates your vision for the Parish: Lumen ad revelationem gentium - for this we wish you, one and all, ad multos annos!
A speech was given and Canon David was presented with his birthday presents.
Canon David opened his presents for us all to see and gave a speech.
The birthday cake
Justina baked three fantastic cakes.
And Canon David blew the candles out.
Some of the helpers
Led by Gervase, Sue and Christine, the parish really pulled together and provided the food and entertainment for the party. Here are just a few of those that made it all happen.