Father Rochford

He was God’s fighter,
Father Rochford, whose force
burning through blackness
cut clean through all words
and spoke through the spirit.
He would come to blows for God:
yet his was no bluster,
and the store of his kindness
was not stinted,
and the barn of his love
always unbolted
could not run dry.
The dockers knew him
and the old of Islington,
and he blazed a trail through darkness
that whoever cared
from his congregations
groups and gatherings
and all lacking guidance
could follow him.
Father Rochford
deep in dark
now is found.
His way was stubborn,
his way was simple,
all he did
had only one meaning,
for his belief –
his entire adult life –
was an act of faith.
Yet who was wiser,
deeper in books?
And who more cheerful,
heedless of himself?
He who read late
but gave up each evening,
was angry as a youth
and father-just,
is gone
O let his heart’s hammer
nail high his good night!
He lived in God’s love.
Remember him.

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