Posted in Family

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Paul George Bateman

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The following service took place on Monday 20th March 2017 at Thanet Crematorium, Kent, England. The service was conducted by Mr Roger Newberry. There were seventeen people, who gathered together to say one last goodbye to a lovely man. It was a beautiful occasion.

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Entry Music – Crimond: The Lord’s My Shepherd

 

Good morning. On behalf of the family, thank you for taking the time to be with us this today.

Paul Bateman  was a lovely man. I know that many of you are dealing with mixed emotions. On the one hand, we feel a great sense of sadness. But today our hearts are sad, not for Paul, because he is in a far better place, but sad because we have lost a dear loved one.

But on the other hand, for us, there is great comfort knowing that Paul is in heaven reunited with his precious parents George and Kitty and his beloved brother Mark.

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This is a thanksgiving service for his life. We are here to remember him and to think about our love for him.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, We come into your presence in the name of your Son, our Saviour The Lord Jesus Christ.  In all our dealings we acknowledge you as Sovereign Lord. Be with us here this morning to comfort, to guide our thoughts and to help us as we honour the memory of this good man. Amen

Opening remarks

When I read of Paul’s  passing on social media, I knew he was a man who was loved. I read these words…

  • Be grateful for the people you’ve got, because you never know when you’re going to lose them, take life as it comes, live for the ones you love…Graham and I miss you so much Paul. Lynda Luckhurst                                                                                           
  • Last Monday I lost one of my best friends. He was one of the loveliest people I know. R.I.P Paul. Love you and will miss you. xxx Sarah Lawson
  • RIP Paul, truly a wonderful man!! Going to miss you – was a pleasure knowing you!! Fly high with the angels xxx Cha Fairchild
  • RIP Paul, I’m in shock, it was a pleasure knowing you. Lou Webster
  • Very, very sad to hear that Paul has left us. He was a lovely man and a wonderful friend to my mum, May Davies! Happy memories of a dear friend. Carol Davies
  • You are the greatest man I have ever had the pleasure to know you will be missed so much by me I still can’t believe your gone RIP Paul I want you to know I love you so much xxxxx Graham Denton
  • Paul was like a grandfather to my four children. We all loved him dearly. Caroline Lorraine Cook

The Paul I knew was kind, thoughtful and a real gentleman.  He was always polite and friendly.  We are here today to celebrate his wonderful life.

If Paul’s life was a book, it would make fascinating reading. There was, maybe, a difficult chapter or two, when life was not easy for him. Paul however, came through these difficult times to prove to be a sesitive, generous, hospitable and kind human being, one I count it a privelege to have known and loved. Paul had a faith and I believe that faith gives great hope that one day all of us who share Paul’s faith will see him again. What a joy that will be.

Today must not be a day of regrets. We are here to remember Paul and the special times we had with him.

In the difficult times of life I have often found that human words often fall short of what we would like them to say.  But it is then that the Eternal Word of God speaks to us with power and healing if we will but listen.

These words of Jesus come across nearly twenty centuries. They seem like ancient dusty history to many who look from a distance.  But if we will listen, Jesus Christ speaks them to each one of us.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

My hope and prayer is that those who mourn will find comfort and strength from today’s service as we celebrate Paul’s wonderful life.

May we remember that this life is but a preparation for the life to come, and when each has accomplished his work on Earth, we, who are Christians, are called to continue that work in a higher sphere, where there is neithier death, nor pain, nor crying. Paul has gone from the struggles and weariness of this life into a better place.

Hymn

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
Refrain:
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

George Bennard 1913

Tributes to Paul from family and friends

From Sandra Thorne in Australia Paul’s sister

I was 11 years old and an only child when Paul came along. I was so excited, a baby brother, a real live doll. My parents allowed me to choose a name for the new baby.

Paul was a delightful little boy, shy but happy. Because our parents owned a corner shop and both worked full-time (and more), it fell to me to collect him from our grandmother’s home during school dinner hour, return him to Nanna’s again before running back to school, and then collecting him in his pram again later in the afternoon.

During school holidays, he came everywhere with my friends and I, Barry Island, Penarth, Cefn Onn, walks to Castle Coch, a fair hike for a little boy. Paul and I spent a lot of time together.

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When I met the man I eventually married, Paul used to bring his friends to look through the window at us cuddling on the couch. He charged them a shilling a time!

Paul was 11 years old when Malcolm and I married in March 1963. Six months later we moved to Australia; in those days, it was like moving to the ends of the earth. Obviously, because of the distance between us, Paul and I saw very little of each other. He used to send lovely letters in his teen years together with photographs.

Paul became a qualified chef and waiter in silver service. He decided to try his luck in London, acquiring a job at the Savoy. He soon had a floor where he was the sole waiter for famous people such as Shirley Bassey and, on one occasion, an Australian opera singer who telephoned Malcolm and me when she returned to Australia. She told us how helpful Paul had been in advising her the best way of travelling to Wales, and how to go about locating her ancestors for her family tree. Later in life, Paul gained a degree in Theology from St David’s University in Lampeter, West Wales. He started studying through University of the Air and, after moving to the area, followed this as a day student at Lampeter.

Paul was badly burned in a fire which slowed him down considerably but in recent times was coping well and was more mobile.

Only 11 months ago we saw each other at our dear brother, Mark’s, funeral. Debra, Angela and I have now lost two brothers in less than a year. It’s at times like this that we realise that life is finite, and we must look out for each other. Malcolm and I and our family are thinking of you all today.

       Thoughts of Graham Denton  

                                                                                                                                                                  When I met Paul, he changed my life for the better, he was in many ways like a father to me. I cherish the memories I have with Paul, he was the kindest and loveliest man I have ever met. He taught me so much about everything, we often had long chats anything and everything. Me, Paul and Lynda often went on days out, such as a picnic at Grove Ferry along the river, a trip to the lovely Chilham Village and many walks on the beach with Blaze. We always had great days out, will miss them more than you know. Until we meet again my wonderful friend Paul.

 

Thoughts of Angela and Kevin

Debra and I  have lost two brothers in just under a year – this is a heavy burden to bear and we thank our close family for their love and support.

We loved Paul our dear elder brother. We have many happy memories of growing up together in a home that was filled with love and laughter and we also had a wonderful extended family, with whom we spent many happy hours.

When we were young Paul used to take us into Cardiff shopping and to The Monico or Plaza to watch the Disney films. Kevin and I also went up to London and stayed with him for a week just after we were married. That was real adventure for us and Paul took the time and care to show us all the sights. We loved it. It was a happy time.

When Kevin was in the Falklands, I went with Vicky and Sammy, who were very young, and stayed with Paul in West Wales for two weeks. I remember one time we went shopping and bought a big sack of potatoes only to find when we opened it contained carrots. We often laugh about it even now! We spent hours washing peeling and freezing those carrots. It nearly put us off carrots for life! Paul would take Vick and Sammy to the end of the garden to feed the donkeys – there were enough of them. One morning we woke up to find the front garden full of sheep – the girls loved it and it is one of their favourite memories, even today!

Paul was a people person and would love spending time with his two grandmothers, Nanna Bateman and Nanna Davies. He also always enjoyed going to Uncle Ainsworth’s and Aunty Beat’s home in Rhiwbina on a Sunday, every week we would all pile in the cars and go for a Thayer’s Ice cream. Paul enjoyed days out and holidays with Aunty Maureen and Uncle Stewart and Young Stewart and Andrea.

Paul thought the world of his brother Mark who passed away last year. When he was younger they would often catch a bus to visit Aunty Ethel.

Now we only have our memories. We will always love Paul and we are so pleased to hear today of the impact he had on so many lives. We really hope that we can keep in touch with all Paul’s friends here in Margate. Graham and friends, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the love and care you showed to Paul. He always spoke so highly of you.

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Thoughts of Debra and Dave

When Paul used to look after Angela and me when we were younger he would get us baking and he used to make cakes with us. When I was older Ceri Anne and I would go to spend many weekends in London. Paul went out of his way to make us feel welcome and made sure we always enjoyed ourselves. We will never forget his dog Rebel – Rebel loved me and when we were there Rebel would never leave my side.

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Thoughts of Jean Newberry

I cannot remember a time growing up when our families were not close. My mum and Pauls dad were sister and brother and they adored each other – hence many, many happy childhood days spent with my lovely cousins Paul, Mark, Angela and Debra. There was never a time when we were not welcomed in each other’s homes.

Every Sunday they would come to our home – it was wonderful. Paul would wear a really smart blazer with his badge collection on the lapels. He would look so smart and proud. Off we would go to the ice cream shop, Thayer’s.

He was so caring and gentle with his little brother and sisters, the kindest, sweetest boy you could imagine, always holding one or two little hands. As we grew older, we became like best friends, always out cycling on our small wheeled Moulton and Raleigh bikes, having picnics or going to Cardiff Market to see the animals. We would often sneak a small rodent or two home and hide it in a cage in our garage or Aunty Kitty’s garage. They were innocent, happy times. Paul always loved animals.

We shared so much growing up and I adored him – he always has and always will hold a very special place in my heart.

Of all the things we shared, one on the most special was our faith in God. We had many chats about this and I really believe I will see Paul again in heaven. I believe he is now safe with Jesus and those who have gone before. I will miss our exchange of Easter cards this year. Easter was a special time for us both.

Graham, I know how special you were to Paul. When he came to stay with Rog and I it was so lovely to meet you.

I am so glad that my gentle, kind cousin found in you such a special friendship. I know, just like mine, there will be a special part of your heart that always belongs to Paul.

 

Reading:  Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

 

 A message of hope and encouragement

Mr Roger Newberry

 

Paul left us a few weeks ago to be with Jesus and we are here because of his influence on our lives. Our lives crossed Paul’s at different times and in different contexts in the course of time.  No matter what our connection with him is, he made his mark on our lives.

What Paul formerly believed by faith, he now sees by sight. He no longer resides in a body with all its aches and pains, but is in God’s presence at this very moment.

I was very interested to hear that Angela and Debra chose to play the music of Psalm 23 for us to walk into today. It’s an incredible piece of writing from the Bible. Verse 4 says this….

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

There is so much we can learn from this lovely Psalm.

Firstly, we all walk through valleys at some time, we can’t avoid them.

If the truth be told, most of us would like to avoid those dark valleys in our lives altogether. We would prefer that life was just a series of mountaintop experiences where everything was great all the time, without ever having to go through the valleys. But that is just not how life works. Paul, like all of us, went through some dark valley type experiences. The shepherds in Palestine would take their sheep from their winter pastures in the lower elevations to the high mountain meadows where they would feed during the summer and there was no other practical way for the sheep to get to the mountaintop other than to go through those valleys. I think that’s why David wrote “Even though I walk through the valley…” The clear implication there is that valleys are to be expected in our lives. I also want to call your attention to the fact that David writes that he “walks through” the valleys. Notice that valleys are only temporary – we go through them. The sheep journeying through the valleys don’t stay there because that is not their final destination and because it would be too dangerous for them to remain there. Notice also that we walk through the valley not run – we shouldn’t be in such a rush to get through the valleys that we miss what God wants to do in our lives in those valleys.  True security is not found in the absence of dangers but rather in the presence of the Shepherd

Note also that every valley is a path to something better

I think it is natural for us to ask why the Good Shepherd would ever lead those sheep into a valley filled with danger and threats. And there is really only one possible answer –  to lead us to a better place.

For the sheep, the valley was a dangerous place. The sheep in the bottom of the valley were exposed to the predators that roamed the surrounding hilltops. And while there was adequate food and water within those valleys to sustain the sheep during their journey, there wasn’t adequate pasture for the sheep to just remain there.

So, the sheep were just passing through the valley to get to the high mountain meadows that offered both abundant food and open areas that did not provide so much cover for the predators that stalked them.

The same thing is true for our lives. Sometimes in order to get us to the mountaintops that he has prepared for us God needs to lead us through some valleys where we face danger, discouragement, and difficulties. And often, while we’re in those dark valleys we not only can’t see the better places ahead, but we can’t even see our way out of the valley. But the good news is that we have a Shepherd who knows the way. And the Shepherd is wise enough to know just how long to keep us in those valleys in order for Him to do whatever work He needs to do in our lives to prepare us to live in the better place He has already prepared for us.

Paul described this same idea with these familiar words from the Bible.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

Maybe some of us here this morning are going through valleys right now. And each of those valleys, as well as the mountaintops that we are travelling toward are unique to each one of us. Those valleys vary in their nature and their length. But the one thing that they all have in common is that there is a Shepherd who wants to lead us through them because He is leading us on a path to something better.

We live in a world of Change

The evidence of change is all around us:

  • Winter is slowly becoming Spring…
  • The young become aged and
  • The new becomes old.

But at all times, God is in control.

Over time God continues to change our hearts. God wants to make our hearts more like his.

Our lives have changed because we no longer have Paul with us. Are lives are poorer now that Paul is no longer with us, but our lives have already been made much richer for having known him, loved him and walked the path of life with him.

This morning, as we mourn Paul’s passing, we can also give thanks for his life.

I believe life is a gift from God. God has made us and given us life. God has blessed our life and made it full of experiences, people and events.  Each day is a blessing and a gift from above.

Paul was a person who was given to us by God.  In knowing Paul we have, hopefully, become better people.  We have stored memories and experiences.  These are gifts from God.

But death robs us of much – never again will we have Paul with us, no longer hear his voice, see his smile.

Gone is the chance to tell him things you wanted to say

Do you wonder how you will deal with it?  The best way is with the promises of the Bible.

That’s how we can come to terms with times like these, with the wonderful hope that if we share Paul’s faith we will see him again

God gave us something else to help – a great and wonderful gift

The gift of memory – a powerful capacity to remember.

Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive

Remembering is bringing things from the past to the present and Paul taught us all a valuable lesson.

This is the lesson….

No matter who you are or whatever hardship you face you are always able to GIVE and always able to LOVE.

Our biggest gift to his now is to be thankful that he is at peace and to seek to be as strong and courageous in our loss as he was in his hour of trial.

To all of us who are here today and all who will read about this service on line…

  • I commend to you those memories that are yours alone. The Paul that you knew was special to you as a family in ways that no one outside could know.

You have every reason to be proud of his life.

 

  • I commend you to the care of Almighty God and trust that you will find the strength and peace that He alone can bring.

May God bless his memory to us.

Prayer

Heavenly Father we thank you for the life of Paul – a good man. We thank you that his life touched both his family and all who knew his for good. We thank you for his simple faith in you.  Now he is at peace and his suffering is over. Guard and watch over him we pray.  Father we commend to your loving care all those who mourn and pray in these difficult times they may grow ever more aware of your love. Strengthen and bring comfort we pray and give grace to them as they seek to understand the changes that lie ahead.

Amen

 

As we say our final goodbyes, you must have no regrets. Angela and Kevin, Debra and Dave,  Jean as well, when Paul really needed you, you were there. Graham and Lynda, I know from Paul how much he appreciated your friendship, care and devotion to him. Paul’s life has touched so many of us in so many different ways. Let’s all treasure the memories we have of this lovely man.

The Committal

We read in the Bible, ‘To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose on earth, a time to be born and a time to die.’  Here in sorrow but without fear, in love and appreciation, we commit Paul’s body to be cremated, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who will transform our lowly bodies, so that they will be like His glorious body. Having committed Paul’s body to the ground and his Spirit to Jesus we now say:

Thank you, dear Paul, for all you have given to us while you were with us.
Let’s all remember that the good he has shown to us; we must now go out show to others.

 

Benediction.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all, Amen

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God, our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

 

Procession  –  All things Bright and beautiful.

 

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Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow, laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner – All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!


Canon Henry Scott-Holland

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Author:

Full time, husband, father and grandfather.

One thought on “A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Paul George Bateman

  1. Thank you for all of this Roger, I’ve just spent the last hour reading the services you ran for Paul, Stuart and Aunty Beat. They were all a great tribute to all three of them.

    You must be very tired after an extended stay in Berlin and then this latest funeral for Paul.

    Angela telephoned at 5 o’clock this morning to let us know how the service in Margate unfolded. She also mentioned sharing a lovely meal with you, Jean, Debra, Dave and, of course, Kevin on Sunday evening.

    Perhaps you can now rest for a few days and catch your breath.

    Love,

    Sandra. Xx

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