Letter: Have faith in the second boat

Click to follow
From Mr D. B. Price

Sir: Your correspondents' views on the certainties of Heaven and Hell as the Church of England might have us believe it reminds me of a former vicar of St David's Church, Brecon, South Wales.

Canon John Simons (his son Glyn became Bishop of Llandaff) was known in the town as "Canon Simons Second Boat". This was on account of his frequently expressed view that only "his" people went to Heaven. Chapel people had little hope though he did hold out a faint possibility that they might arrive by the "second boat".

My father, chapel not Church of England, was then gravely ill. John Simons deeply regretted that he could give him no assurance that he would get to Heaven but did grudgingly concede that he might well get on that second boat. This, I believe, was because my father pruned his roses most skilfully. Well, would a man who could prune a rose really be denied entry to the Kingdom of Heaven!

I have long pondered on the strange fact that educated and intelligent men - and the canon was both - could believe such nonsense. But they can, and do.

Yours faithfully

D. B. Price

Sarisbury Green, Hampshire

16 January