How did you meet?

Kathy: We met on the internet. I had been to a ladies’ lunch with my fellowship group where the talk around the table was how we had met our respective husbands.  At this time I was widowed for the second time and was feeling lonely. Two of our group had met their husbands through the internet and urged me to try Christian Connections. I was curious about how it worked, but I certainly was not adventurous enough with my computer to find out about it, but a neighbour showed me on their computer. He even filled out my ‘profile’ for me and up popped these men including Henry. He was closest to my age, so I read his profile and studied his photograph. He looked kind and sounded a fine Christian, but I got cold feet and eliminated them all.  The next day my neighbour informed me that Henry had ‘waved’ to me (computer language), so out of kindness I told my neighbour to wave back to him, and hey presto – that opened the way to e-mailing each other.

Henry: Six months ago we both registered on a Christian introduction agency website. I saw Kathy’s profile and liked it so I ‘waved’ to her. She waved back, then we started emailing one another via the agency’s private email service. Following loads of emails Kathy managed to leave me her phone number, so we phoned one another frequently , plus continuing to email.  From first contact to our meeting was just ten days. We agreed to meet at a well known hotel in a town mid-way between our two homes.

What was your first date like?

Kathy: We found out that we lived 100 miles apart, and decided to meet for lunch at a pub in Llandovery, roughly half-way. We had parked in separate car parks. There was no one in the pub, so I walked out again, past Henry who was waiting outside for me. Looking to see that a car was not coming I went to cross the road and saw this man looking at me, who hurriedly turned away. So I strolled to the end of the pavement opposite him. We looked at each other, smiled and met in the middle of the road. He was 6’3” and I am 4’11.3/4”! I immediately liked the way he was dressed, smart but casual. We went for a coffee first and laid all our cards on the table – expectations, health problems etc. We went for lunch where we talked about our Christianity, and what it meant to us.

Henry: Great but too short. We had coffee in a bikers’ café, then to lunch at the nearby hotel. We talked and talked –  very frankly about our possible bad points.  We spoke of our previous two marriages spanning 55 years. These marriages each ended in the death of our spouses. Although we seemed so distinctly different in stature, me being 6’3” and Kathy scarcely coming up to my shoulder we realised we had so much in common which could form the basis for a relationship, but we did tell one another that we did not want to marry for a third time. We got on really well and after talking over all the usual things we had a good discussion on John’s gospel.  We gave one another a gift before parting, and sadly we realised we could not meet again for several weeks because of our respective Christmas plans.

Do you think God has a chosen ‘one’ for you to marry?

Kathy: There were so many God incidences in our life that we felt it was all part of a plan overseen by God, that we are very awed about it, yet full of joy that it can be so.

Henry: Yes. Before registering on a dating website, I knelt and prayed about finding a lovely lady to share companionship with. I prayed on the Wednesday, and I was guided to register on the Christian website on Friday of that week. I saw Kathy’s profile on the Saturday, and by the following week we were communicating. I am firmly convinced that God has brought us together.

How have you enjoyed being married so far?

Henry: It is wonderful. Loneliness in old age when you have been married for many years is very hard to bear. To find someone who is so beautiful, loving, kind and caring and who shares many common interests, and whose Christian faith is rock solid is God-given, and we both know we have truly been blessed in our old age. We love one another more than words can express.

Kathy: The love of God and Jesus is the absolute foundation of our marriage and gives it that completeness of love which makes a marriage sacred.

What part does faith play in your relationship?

Kathy: I have been a reader in the Anglican church for 27 years, and it is a joy that Henry as a worship leader means that we can share services together in our seven churches which cover a large rural area.

Henry: Faith is hugely important to us both. Christian faith is the basis of our daily life, and I cannot possibly imagine being married to someone who was not Christian.  It is the cornerstone of our marriage and from this all else flows.

What advice would you give to those in their 20s and 30s looking for love?

Kathy: We met our former respective partners in the conventional way of that time, through a church social, an interest group that we had joined, or our work. Today the internet allows you to explore interests, likes and dislikes in a safe way before actually meeting. If you are a Christian you need to know if someone has that same foundation for a marriage otherwise you will be pulling in opposite directions.

Henry: My advice would be to either seek someone from within one’s own church family if persons of this age group regularly attend church, but failing that I would strongly advocate looking for someone through a genuine Christian introduction website. This way it is possible to narrow down choices according to a range of parameters. It is possible to exchange emails without initially identifying your address, phone number or even personal email address, but you can exchange photographs and so get to know an individual pretty well before seeking to meet in a safe neutral venue. Looking for love entails a long term, life-time commitment between two people, so it is most important that you know just what kind of person you would ideally like to spend your life with. Even with an internet based introduction service you may well have to meet several people before you find the love of your life.

Written by Henry and Kathy Johnston

Henry previously worked in the paper industry and local government. His interests include choral singing, family history, music, reading, walking, motoring and voluntary work. He is a licensed worship leader with the Church in Wales. Kathy was evacuated during the war which gave her an abiding love of the country. She worked in an engineering drawing office, learning mechanical engineering at night school. Her interests are in the theatre, and singing both in choirs and as a soloist. She is a reader in the Anglican church. They have both previously been married for 55 years and widowed twice. Henry has a son and two grandchildren, Kathy has a daughter and three grandsons. Henry, 78, and Kathy, 80, married in May 2013.

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