Our story

Bert Hyde, our founder, Remembered
Tributes from Christian CARE Volunteers
"One of God's diamonds"

It was at the Christian CARE Association 2009 AGM, just as the meeting was drawing to a close, that the Chairman, Revd Gavin Murray, turned to Bert and said "You are one of God's diamonds." In retrospect it was so right that he did that and we are so thankful that Bert was able to receive that special tribute and appreciation for the work that was his vision and to which he devoted so much of his later life.

Bert Hyde (1920 - 2010)

He was honoured by London Borough of Merton on several occasions:

  • 1970's - Sir Cyril Black Prize
  • 2000 - Queen's Golden Jubilee Merton Award
  • 2005 - Merton Excellence Award - Outstanding Contribution to the Community - Voluntary Sector

But "one of God's diamonds", that was special.

At our 2010 Annual General Meeting on the 14th October 2010, seven volunteers contributed their memories of Bert, memories which cover the first 43 years of the Christian CARE Association. Below is a small selection of them.

The whole tribute may be downloaded by right-clicking on Bert Hyde - One of Gods Diamonds and selecting "Save Target/Link as ...".

Christian Care's own tribute may be read by clicking on Bert Hyde - Founder and Chairman of Christian Care.

Joan Greig - My best memory of Bert is his smile and ready friendliness to all and his willingness to help those less fortunate than himself. That characterised his whole attitude to life and therefore he was a very real influence in the early days of Christian CARE.

Jean Thompson - The number of such families who have been touched and helped personally by Bert and the charity he helped to found so many years ago must be immense. It may be a small local, unknown work, but those who have been helped on their way will always remember dear Bert with great affection and gratitude.

Keith Uphill - Bert had a rare talent for making near-impossibilities seem quite straightforward if you worked at them, and he certainly inspired me to tackle problems which would formerly have defeated me. In fact I wish I'd met him years earlier!

Lynn Kyte - Bert would be too modest to devote any time wondering if he was a saint, but his life and work spoke of his deep commitment as a Christian, doing the Lord's work in this world, without any desire for reward. For me he was the personification of the Good Samaritan.

John Hillier - As you will all know, Bert's sense of time was unlimited - he would often arrive late for meetings with bundles of papers falling from his arms or with bags of food that he had somehow collected en-route. Conventions about lengths of meetings were not a priority for Bert and even when an evening meeting came to a close - always with prayer - he would not be going home, but off to see a homeless family.

Gwen Wildman - Sometimes other people can see what we cannot. Bert was always a friend and firm favourite with the children. Almost everywhere he went, like the Pied Piper, there would be a following. When, on an outing to Littlehampton, I had a conversation with another Church group member who had been observing us and asked me "Who is that gentleman with the silver hair, is he your Pastor"? "But I can discern" continued this lady "that he is a true man of God".

Geoff Coyne - How do I remember Bert? - as one who epitomised the true Christian. He did that because he followed the example of His Saviour both in love and commitment.

Bert Hyde, our founder, "One of God's diamonds"