Brecon Cathedral is a beautiful edifice - even if scaffolding spoils the internal perspective at the moment. I was there this afternoon to give thanks for the life of Austin Walters, whom I liked but did not know that well. But I do know his feisty widow, Edna who is a really good friend. She has been a great supporter of mine for many years. It was also great to meet so many of the Brecon and Radnor Conservatives, of which Austin and Edna had always been such an important part. Of course funerals are inevitably sad occasions, but I do try to make them celebrations of life.
Jonathon Evans MEP, recently selected parliamentary candidate for Cardiff North was also there. We both talked to as many people as possible at the post funeral do. Jonathon really is a top man - and I hope his talent is quickly recognised by David Cameron when he transfers from Brussels to Westminster at the next election. B and R is an Association which deserves an infusion of enthusiasm. Big job for Suzy Davies. I want to help where I can.
It was worth going to listen to the Dean. He didn't mince his words. His comments after the reading of St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians was blunt - even by my standards. This is St Paul's Letter that highlights the importance of 'love' as the basis which gives meaning to human emotion. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." Clearly he had been deeply offended by the way Tony Blair had used St Paul's letter as a device to exhibit a contrived form of false love. Love should not be confused with public exhibitionism and sentimentality. Don't know whether anyone else noticed - but it had a big impact on me.
The last hymn was "Guide me, O thou great redeemer", one of the best hymns penned by William Williams of Pantycelyn. The Dean told us that Austin was a descendent of William Williams which made the hymn a bit special to all of us. We gave Austin a good send off.