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Life, death, retirement and dependency: how to do it

Evangelist Roger Carswell writes: I would travel a long way to hear Professor John Wyatt, author of Issues of Life and Death and Dying Well, speak on virtually any subject! But to have him speaking on the themes concerning the transition from work to retirement, caring to being cared for, and from life to death, was particularly appealing.

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Left to Right: Jeremy Marshall, Roger Carswell and John Wyatt

Keswick Ministries, in partnership with Faith in Later Life, organised a three-day conference on the theme of ‘Faith in the Second Half’ with John as the primary speaker. I gathered with about 70 others, but wished I could have taken hundreds of Christians leaders with me. Most of the delegates were probably in the second half of their life, but not all as there were some whose focus of ministry is with older people. John described the Christian life as being like a marathon, but in every stage – retirement, dependence and dying – there are losses and opportunities. He tackled issues such as what are old people for, and how us caring is an expression of the gospel and a response to God’s kindness. It is honouring to others, as it affirms their God-given dignity, and it is a way of receiving God’s blessings ourselves.