'He reflected God's love to all he met'
Rockingham Road Baptist Church in Kettering has paid tribute to long serving member Robin Smith
Robin, the country's oldest person with Down Syndrome, died on 27 September aged 78. He had been part of the church for 34 years.
Minister Laura Staves, who had the joy of baptising Robin in 2017, described him as 'an invaluable member of RRBC and a great blessing to us all.'
'Robin reflected God's love to all he met and church was important to him,' Laura said.
'His faith was genuine and lived out, even though he could not have expressed it easily in theological terms.
'The way he interacted with people, his contentment and concern for others (frequently asking me to pray in a service for one of his friends who was ill) showed what was important in faith.
'It took time to communicate with him since his speech was not always clear - particularly for a hard of hearing minister, but reminded me of the need to take time, properly listening to people, and to not spend life rushing on to the next job.'
She said the two things the church folk immediately think of when remembering Robin is his 'wonderful beaming smile' and his guitar playing. In recent years he has played every Sunday on a guitar (a small Ukulele), and his rhythm was 'superb', said Laura.
She added that his baptism in 2017 came about with no prompting. 'A few months previously our Sunday Group at church (for those with learning difficulty) were reading the account of the Baptism of Jesus. Robin just looked up and said I want to be baptised.
'I have only found out in the last few days when preparing for his funeral service that his parents were strong baptists in Rushden, Northants where he was born.
'He was a lovely man who oozed love.'