Leaving a memorial to be proud of

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That man Beckham – what do you make of him? Not the guy with the tattoos and the smile but Humphrey of that ilk.

He was born a bit earlier and sadly he has hung up his boots. Actually he died in 1671, but here’s the thing, before he shuffled off the mortal thingy he carved his own memorial, and a rather fine bit of workmanship it is too.

You might think it’s a rather immodest gesture, toddling along to the local church and saying “Here’s the memorial for when I’ve gone” and leaving them a two metre by one metre carving. But there it is in a church in Salisbury.

I suppose a bigger and more flamboyant memorial would be one that appeared 50 years after Beckham’s.

Stand under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and you can read (in Latin) the architect’s memorial “If you want a monument look around.”

It is easy to leave memorials – things people remember you by – but some of them are not what we’d want to leave: “He was a miserable...” “She was such a gossip.”

So how’s the work going on your memorial?

– Rev. Neil Combe