Today marked the final journey for the much loved and respected husband and father, Rev Ian Charlesworth. Vicar of Llyswen, Llyswen, Boughrood, Llandefalle, Llanstephan, and Talachddu.
From Felin Fach he was driven for his final farewell to the parishes he ministered to. Driven slowly around the now quietened roads, the solitary hearse's route was marked by crowds who turned out to pay their last respects. The onlookers bowed and said farewell to a man who was much loved not only in his parish but by the wider community in Talgarth, Three Cocks, Bronllys and Hay on Wye. Rev Charlesworth passed suddenly on 4 April 2o2o.
Ian was widely respected as Chairman of School Governors at Archdeacon Griffiths CIW Primary and also as Chairman of Governors at Gwernyfed High School in Three Cocks. As a larger than life figure, he brought a sense of proceedings to any event he attended. He was a key driver and supporter of the Save Gwernyfed High School Campaign, which eventually saw the school remain open and it continues to thrive under the Head Mr John Williams. Speaking to him today as he paid his respects to his colleague, he said: "it is a sad day, and Ian will be sorely missed".
We also spoke to Rev Roland Edwards and his wife Barbara of St Gwendoline's, Talgarth Bronllys, and Llanfilo parish, who stood to pay their respects to a much-missed friend and clergyman. A long time friend of the couple, Rev Edwards said: "Ian will be much missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, parishioners, and friends."
In Llyswen the streets were lined with residents, including former MP for the area Chris Davies and his wife Liz. Long time friends of Rev Charlesworth and his family, Chris worked closely with Ian on many projects over the years, he also co-hosted the Mass Choir event with Ian at Hay Festival a few years ago. They worked closely together on the board of Governors at Gwernyfed, the couple spoke of how sad they were at the sudden death and loss of such an important community man.
Rev Charlesworth was also until his death, Chair of PAVO, Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations. He had a long relationship with the organisation serving not only as Chair, but as a Trustee and Director for over 20 years. The organisation paid a fitting tribute to him which can be found on their website www.pavo.org.uk.
As Rev Charlesworth hearse passed through the village of Llyswen, the crowds at first were silent and then gently a ripple of clapping moved along the streets as their friend passed by, he was always smiling and always laughing. A fitting tribute to the end.
The funeral was held today at Llyswen and attended by his wife Catriona, daughters Hannah, Katie and Sarah.
**** We earlier reported that there may have been other attendees, the family has now confirmed it was just them. The article was published earlier today when we were unable to confirm attendees, to avoid any confusion over COVID-19 regulations.
The Psalm 121 was read at the service today.
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Images provided courtesy of Ann Seymour Photography and Kath Evans Photography.
Both local photographers have worked over the years with Ian in his many roles in the community.
The hearse drove through Llyswen this morning as part of his farewell route.
Rev Charlesworth with friend and fellow former Gwernyfed School Governor Chris Davies, at Hay Festival
As compare to the Mass Choirs, Hay Festival
During the 'Save Gwernyfed School Campaign'
Images by Kath Evans Photography of Rev Charlesworth at Llyswen and Talachddu