RIP Rob Cook.

The world lost someone this week. His passing won’t be national news, perhaps a mention in the local papers, but it will be keenly felt by people like me, I’d imagine hundreds if not thousands of us, all over the world.
Rob Cook led a Christian youth group in Aldridge in the West Midlands. When I met him he was gradually taking a more prominent leadership role, one which he embraced and grew into in the years that I spent with them.
I was a teenager full of questions; like any young man, trying to sort out what it was to be a man. Rob remains to this day one of the yardsticks against which I measure myself as a man. He was a man of conviction, strength and wisdom – although I’m sure that he would have laughed to hear me call him wise, humble as he was. Smiling, patient, caring – he was like a father to so many of us. He passionately wanted us to follow him in his faith but never forced it on us and never gave up caring about those who didn’t. He saw the good in every one of us. It’s easy for those leading religious groups to lose sight of what it is like to be on the other side of the fence. Easy to be judgemental and puritanical. He was never anything but understanding and tolerant. His advice was always considered and realistic.
In a time when my relationship with my own family was strained and difficult, I relied on Rob, his wife Annette and the rest of that group; they supported me unconditionally. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Through that group and under Rob’s watchful eye I had countless opportunities to grow as a person, to be involved with charitable projects, creative endeavours and incredible adventures. I may not have managed to acquire his faith but I believe that he has a hand in my continuing desire to try to make the world a better place.
There’s a lump in my throat as I write this but also a smile on my face. I can see him now, beaming from a chair in a marquee in a field on the Gower. I can hear that distinctive laugh echo through the night.
Goodnight and God bless, Rob. You made the world a better place and each one of us for whom you cared so much carry a little piece of you with us into every corner of the world.

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2 thoughts on “RIP Rob Cook.

  1. And I’m right back in the marquee, rain outside, sitting on a giant inner tube, with people and possibility all around….. and remembering the Friday nights, all created by the giving nature, vision, faithfulness and hard work of Rob, Mr Hill and all the leaders. A great man. X

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