Last week news came through that the evangelist Michael Green had been taken to be with the Lord. Michael had links with Kea years ago and so Peter Larkin took the opportunity to write something in memory of a wonderful godly servant....
I first met Michael when I was 21 and he was 31. He came to St. John’s Northwood (London College of Divinity) as a Lecturer in New Testament. His knowledge was phenomenal and his enthusiasm for God and the Gospel overflowing. He later went on to be Principal of the college (after it had moved to Nottingham) and Rector of St. Aldates, Oxford, where our son, Jonathan, frequently benefitted from his sermons.
Michael was an authority on fishing and shooting. One summer I drove a mini-bus full of Kea teenagers for a 10 days Course in Mission at Nottingham and Michael persuaded me to bring his dog (Sarah or Sally?) back for training at Bridestowe in Devon.
Michael came to Kea (plus Rosemary and 4 children) for 2 main summer holidays, serving as locum in Kea Vicarage. It really was holiday – except for Sundays! On one Sunday his dog rushed out of the Vicarage garden and into Church where Michael was in front of the Communion Table by the East Wall. She darted down the aisle and leapt into his arms just before the distribution of the sacrament.
Michael’s love of fishing was satisfied by many visits to local reservoirs, and to Port Isaac for sea fishing in our 12 foot family boat and outboard. Huge excitement as fish were caught, and mini sermons galore about fishers of men bringing in people to life. Saved for life, not hooked for death.
Once when I was at Port Isaac I had to return unexpectedly to Kea Vicarage for my suit (I think it was for my suit when my father had died.) The Greens were horrified to see us, for the toaster had been broken and was all over the kitchen table in an (unsuccessful) attempt to repair it. How embarrassing!
One year, about 1976 Michael suffered meningitis followed by complications whilst preaching in S. Africa. He needed to ease himself back into ministry very gently, and asked if he could come and stay with us at Kea; so it was that he preached at the Carol Service. The visual aid was a Christmas Pudding – so full of rich ingredients, just like the Bible; but it has to be received (caught and taken in.) He ended the sermon by throwing the pudding from the pulpit down into the congregation. It was caught by David Penhaligon MP. How powerful is that !
Michael wrote over 50 books, mostly evangelistic in style – one of them “You must be Joking” was written at my desk in Kea Vicarage.
Michael Green. May he rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.