Last Friday, we said goodbye to a wonderful man and a great friend to the churches in Putney and Roehampton, Rev’d Jim McKinney. Jim served for over twenty years as the vicar of Holy Trinity Roehampton, part of the ecumenical parish of Roehampton. We worked very closely together and his sudden death a few weeks ago was an enormous shock to everyone who knew him. This is the tribute I delivered at his funeral on Friday. We continue to hold Jim’s wife and family in our prayers at this incredibly difficult time.
Friends, I should like to give thanks very briefly for the life of our brother Jim in three overlapping capacities.
First, as minister of Roehampton Methodist Church – the other half of Jim’s ecumenical parish – I want to give thanks for a wonderful colleague and an excellent pastor. This ecumenical parish is a strange, and possibly unique, creation. We have two churches, here and at Minstead Gardens; two traditions, Anglican and Methodist; and, until very recently, two ministers. But we work so closely together that it is often hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. Making it work relies on willing individuals, and there was none more willing than Jim. He welcomed me and a succession of Methodists, including Kathy, Ali, Megan, Keith, and many more, and was utterly committed to our joint vision of sharing the love of Christ in this place.
Second, as a minister in the Richmond and Hounslow Methodist Circuit, I want to give thanks for Jim’s work across our local churches. It is not only our congregations here that were shocked at Jim’s sudden death. The good folks of Putney, Richmond and especially Barnes will greatly miss his preaching and leading of worship. I know that Jim hoped to continue his work with the Methodist Church into retirement.
Third, and finally, as the current chair of Churches Together in Putney and Roehampton, I want to express our deep gratitude for all that Jim did to contribute to the excellent ecumenical relations that we enjoy here. He was a tireless advocate for working across all divisions, and served for several years as our chair. He was always willing to contribute and encourage.
In all of these contexts, and many more, Jim brought the warmth, generosity of spirit and wisdom of which so many here have already spoken. He was a wonderful colleague, a good friend and a man who was able to see far beyond the narrow confines of any single denomination to the glorious all-encompassing kingdom of God. I pray that we may retain his vision and insight. He will be deeply missed.