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Remembering Sidney Richard Fisher

written by Ruth Jackson Gash on behalf of Long Sutton Quaker Meeting

Testimony to the Grace of God as shown in the life of Sidney Fisher

11.12.1910 - 12.2.2012

Sidney Fisher - mystic, visionary, poet, Quaker

Sidney's long life reflected his search for truth and profound faith, as well as his keen interest and the pleasure he took in everyday affairs. He believed that the Holy Spirit of God is present in all creation. He believed that God's will prevails ultimately and he lived his life in the simple faith, that the "Unseen Navigator" was beside him, guiding and caring for him. He believed passionately in the power of prayer and in the importance of meditation, and above all, contemplation.

Sidney loved all god's creatures, befriending the birds in his garden and the field-mouse who visited him in the house. He gazed with equal delight at the glistening trail made by a snail on the path and at the flowers, trees and sky.

We were greatly blessed by his presence at Meeting for Worship, where Sidney ministered prayerfully and from the heart. As an Aspen tree quivers in the wind Sidney was sometimes shaken by the power of the Holy Spirit and would "quake". In Long Sutton Meeting House, shortly before he died, he spoke memorably of the joy of waking in the morning, breathing and being alive.

The Meeting for Prayer and Healing had been a focal point in Sidney's life for years. He had a particular concern for mothers and their unborn babies, as well as those people in our local communities who needed support. He was a fierce guardian of this meeting and displeased by non-attendance without valid excuse, because of the duty of prayer and its importance in the process of healing. He handed over leadership of this group on his one hundred and first birthday.

Sidney and Kathleen moved from Northumberland to Somerset on Sidney's retirement, somewhat to their children's surprise. They came together to Long Sutton Meeting for Worship until Kathleen's illness prevented her. Sidney cared for Kathleen through her final difficult time and kept her memory alive, often speaking of her lovingly.

Sidney founded the Rambler's club in Curry Rivel and led bird-watching walks. When profound deafness made listening to birdsong difficult he turned his attention to wild flowers. That was a typical manoeuvre to accept misfortune and find blessing. He read widely and lived as simply as possible, following his principles. He enjoyed company and parties and expected the best of his fellow human beings.

Sidney published his autobiography, "Dust and Stars", which includes many of his poems, in 1995. In the last month of 2011, Long Sutton Meeting published "Promptings", an anthology of quotations from the mystics, theologians and poets, which Sidney used to provide for our spiritual nourishment as an "Endpiece" or "Opening" in the monthly newsletter. In hospital, in the last week of his life, Sidney was still working on his latest book. He handed over its final editing and publication to his son David.

The poem "Alpha-Omega" by Sidney,often quoted by him, was read at his Memorial Meeting and in its apparent simplicity, captures the wisdom and profound faith of our dear friend.

"Lead me, my guide, my truth to learn

Teach me, my God, thy truth to yearn

And fix me, as to thee I turn

Cool me as for thee I yearn


Awake, my soul: Is this dream for me

That in God's heart myself does seem to be?

Hearken, my soul; in spirits purest ray

Rest.........there is no more to say

I have so many good memories, i'll never forget his warmest heart to me. Keiko Ohgane

#sidney.fisher.reading.large

We recollect his quiet but wise council, which I (Angela) remember particularly from when I stayed with you (Sally) and your family in Saffron Walden in 1962.  Angela & Adrian Lepper

Photos

Poems 1

Poems 2

Poems 3

Poems 4

Poems 5

Poems 6

Poems 7

Poems 8

Tributes