The testimony of Henry Gordon Parris, to the Glory of God

Gordon relaxing at the 60th Anniversary celebration of his marriage to Jean

Gordon relaxing at the 60th Anniversary celebration of his marriage to Jean

Saved by Grace.


That was Gordon’s testimony in life and in death. He knew the joy and peace that came only from knowing his soul’s eternal destination depended wholly on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.


This may seem to you like a strange way to remember a loving and much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, the longest serving member at Harrold & Carlton Grace Baptist Church in living memory and a well known personality in the villages surrounding Harrold, Carlton & Lavendon. But the assurance of salvation, built on the promises of God’s Word, nurtured by a daily living relationship with his Saviour, shaped and moulded his life.


Gordon knew his place in Heaven was secured at the cross of Calvary, where God’s wrath stored up against his sins was poured forth on God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew the offences that should prevent him from entering Glory had been dealt with on the cross, buried with Christ in the tomb. Gordon knew his soul’s eternal state had been guaranteed three days after that when Christ rose again from the dead, His sacrifice accepted and Gordon’s future resurrection and reward in heaven secured.


What amazing love, what astounding, limitless grace Gordon found in the life & death of His Saviour! Time and time again in his life, he would return here and discover more depths to the fathomless grace of God. God’s grace was his fortress, his rock, his high tower in every storm of life. And crucially, to the glorious work of salvation, Gordon knew he could contribute nothing. It was all of grace.


Many loving memories from his five daughters were shared at the Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Gordon on 16th May 2013. For me, there is one word in particular that will always stir memories of him: gracious. The sweet aroma of grace, that unmerited favour to all, especially those un-deserving, affected his family relationships, his friendships, his words, his attitudes and his deeds.


He would always be the first to welcome anyone new to the church. Always keen to welcome strangers into his family home. Eager to share with all the many rich blessings God had granted him and his family. Unashamed, rather, full of love and gratitude, he declared the marvellous grace of God in Christ his Saviour, whom he served so faithfully, to anyone who knew not the Saviour’s love for themselves.


Where did this remarkable graciousness come from? It was God’s gift, grown out of an intimate, personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel of grace. Now Gordon’s journey is run, he has known what it means “to live is Christ” and now knows what it is “to die is gain”, for he has been received with glory and great joy into Heaven to be with Christ forever.


His is the never-ending reward and the earthly testimony of a man truly “saved by grace”.


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