I want to add my small voice to those paying tribute to Sir Patrick Moore, who died yesterday. I won’t speak about the amateur astronomer whose lunar maps were used by NASA in preparing for the moon landings. I haven’t gone looking for videos of his xylophone playing. I won’t comment on the allegations that he was a racist. Nor will I even make anything of the fact that he celebrated a particularly fine day of the year as his birthday.
I simply want to retell one story.
My father has been a member of the British Astronomical Association for all my life and longer. When I was a child, he took me to London one day to hear a lecture by Patrick Moore. It went above my head, but clearly inspired many adults and children who were present.
Afterwards, a long queue formed of people who wanted to ask Moore questions. I noticed how he took the children as seriously as the adults. Adults were not more important; they had to wait while he gave children’s questions his full attention.
It is an example more churches need to emulate.