Funeral of Joan Bird

Breakspear Crematorium
Friday 30th October 2020, 2.15pm
Conducted by Prebendary Neil Richardson

Attendance at the service is by invitation only, but will be live streamed.

A webcast of the service is valid for 28 days and can be seen on Username: Wifo8063 – Password: 120727

The order of service can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed below

Order of Service
ENTRANCE MUSIC – Just As I Am Without One Plea
sung by Ely Cathederal Choir


Priest: Merciful Father,
hear our prayers and comfort us;
renew our trust in your Son, whom you raised from the dead:
strengthen our faith that all who have died in the love of Christ
will share in his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
All: Amen.

23rd Psalm
Said by all
The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
He shall refresh my soul and guide me
in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil and my cup shall be full.
Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow,
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush,
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am in the star shine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in the quiet room,
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I do not die.
Mary E Frye, 1932

A Reading From The Gospel Of John 14: 1 – 6

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord
sung by Aled Jones

God our refuge and strength,
close at hand in our distress;
meet us in our sorrow and lift our eyes
to the peace and light of your constant care.
Help us so to hear your word of grace
that our fear will be dispelled by your love,
our loneliness eased by your presence
and our hope renewed by your promises
In Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Lord of all, we praise you
for all who have entered into their rest
and reached the promised land where you are seen face to face.
Give us grace to follow in their footsteps
As they followed in the way of your Son.
Thank you for the memory of those you have called to yourself:
by each memory, turn our hearts from things seen to things
unseen, and lead us till we come to the eternal rest you have
prepared for your people,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Said by all
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen

You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can close your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
Or you can be full of the love that you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
David Harkins

One More Step Along The World I Go
sung by Primotrax Children’s Choir

Priest: May God give you
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next;
and the blessing of God almighty
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
All: Amen.

Time To Say Goodbye
sung by Katherine Jenkins

A Robin’s Tale
Written by Joan Bird

According to the humans that live here my name is Fred. Don’t ask where
that came from, I only know that whenever they see me that’s what they call me. I don’t really know why they talk to me as I can’t reply because they
wouldn’t understand me, but it seems to give them pleasure to chat to me. It’s obviously a human thing!

I came across this Robin heaven purely by accident. They have in their
garden, what I believe is called a bird feeder, where the more common birds like Starlings feed. There is a container with seeds, another with nuts and best of all a fat ball. From these, seeds fall to the ground and I have taken to eating them.

Then suddenly to my joy there is a change of food and pellets containing suet and fruit are on the ground. Well I can’t believe my luck. Not for me mealy worms, but this new delicacy!

I have learnt that I don’t need to be afraid of these humans as they mean me no harm and I stay on the ground while they put this food down.
There is also a supply of drinking/bathing water – these humans certainly
know how to look after us and the food has started appearing near the water.

I then decide to become a little crafty and have discovered that if I perch on
the window ledge, one of them will come and feed me. Wonderful, fed on
demand. Now I don’t want to appear greedy, but this is great news. I have
decided that this bounty is just for me, I don’t wany any other robins assuming that they can also partake of this food; I must let them know that this is MY territory.

As luck would have it, there is a weathervane in the garden, so I perch on the top every evening and sing my heart out. I think the humans believe that this is my way of thanking them and I wouldn’t like to disillusion them.
These humans obviously love me because now they are putting the food on
the mat inside the kitchen door. This is especially great if it is raining.
Then excitement comes into my life. I’ve met a lovely little lady robin who
has agreed to have my babies. Lo and behold we do the deed and she lays some eggs which in due time hatch and we have three babies. Now obviously this plentiful supply of food (on demand) is especially good and we are kept very busy flying backwards and forwards, feeding our offspring and the humans never let us down whenever we appear at the window or perch on the door handle, they feed us. There is plenty for us parents and our offspring.

When the babies have grown big enough, we decide to show them to our
human friends, which caused much excitement. It is not unusual for us Robins to have more babies and once again we had three babies and duly presented them to our kind humans.
I’m back to being on my own now, but still getting fed on the kitchen mat.
Indeed, I am in Robin heaven!
Joan Bird
P.S. I have just learnt that there was a robin before me (also called Fred)
whom they also fed. Unfortunately, he was disabled in that one of his feet was pointing backwards but that didn’t prevent him from standing on both feet.
I don’t know what happened to him, but the humans went on holiday and
never saw him again. If he has gone to the final robin resting place, I hope he is happy as these humans loved him.

Liz, Chris and all the family would like to thank you for
attending today and for all your support at this sad time.
If you would like to donate to Parkinsons UK in memory of Joan,
please feel free to hand to the funeral directors, or to go online to

A webcast of the service is valid for 28 days and can be seen on
Username: Wifo8063 – Password: 120727

Funeral arrangements entrusted to the care of
O’Dwyer Funeral Directors
137 Little Ealing Lane, Ealing, London W5 4EJ.
Tel: 020 3067 0068