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        Announcing the death of Mike Townsend

        PUBLISHED - 30th November 2023

        Dear Friends of Torch,
        It is with a heavy heart and a sense of profound loss that we announce the death of Mike Townsend, Torch’s Chair of Trustees who was called to his eternal home on November 28th. Mike was taken ill on holiday with pneumonia and a heart issue, and his body was not able to recover. Mike’s wife Edith was with him, and it sounds like his last days were peaceful.
        Mike was blind from the age of eight and spent much of this life working tirelessly to improve the lives of those living with sight loss. He became involved with Torch in its very early days as a volunteer and continued to faithfully serve in many different capacities in Torch’s mission over the decades since. He particularly helped Torch at many key junctures to embrace new technology using his amazing skills with computers. He served as a trustee for many years and became Chair of the Board at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Over the last three years he has been instrumental in setting Torch on a new and healthy path with an unrelenting focus on us really living out our Values and ensuring Jesus is at the centre of all we do. Mike has touched the lives of many people who have engaged with Torch over the years and his joyful, energetic and positive approach will be both sorely missed and lovingly remembered.
        Mike leaves behind, his ever faithful and seemingly tireless wife Edith, who herself has her own wonderful ministry both inside and outside of Torch. They have a daughter, Christine, married to Alex and four grandchildren. Mike and Edith have many close friends at the church in Fleckney and indeed around the UK and all over the world. Please do remember them all in your prayers, particularly the family as they have arrangements to make.
        Those of us that knew Mike well can be pretty sure that even as we grieve his passing, he would be encouraging us to rejoice. Mike’s faith, his love for Jesus, his desire to help other people encounter Jesus, clearly and unambiguously speak of the hope that he had that death is not the end. And so, we rejoice, knowing that Mike has passed on into something far better – being face to face with the Lord he spent his life serving. As we mourn, let us also bear witness to the hope we have in Jesus, that death does not have the final word and that Mike is now free of pain, of tears, of the restrictions of this life.
        We thank God for Mike’s life and his faithful witness to his Lord and Saviour. We will be setting up ways for folk to express their thanks for Mike and share their memories of him: more news to follow as we get those things in place. In the meantime if you do want to leave a message of condolence or share a memory, please do email or call Client Services.
        Thank you for your faithful support of Torch and for your prayers for Edith, the family and the wider community of those who knew and will miss Mike. Please pray too for Tony Brown who has stepped up to become Torch’s Acting Chair and for the other leaders of Torch as we celebrate Mike’s life and seek to continue his legacy.
        Yours in Christ
        Tim Jeffery (CEO) and Tony Brown (Acting Chair)

        There is also a website where people can leave a memory of Mike, post a photo etc. The link is:

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