Celebrating the wonderful life of Mark Bateman
The Wenallt Chapel, Thornhill, Cardiff.
Friday 8th April 2016 @ 4:15pm
Service conducted by Roger Newberry
Good afternoon. On behalf of the family, thank you for taking the time to be with us this afternoon.
Mark Bateman – or Marky B – was a lovely man. He was kind, thoughtful and never one to complain, whatever life threw at him. We are here today to celebrate his wonderful life.
As we gather here this afternoon to remember the dear and precious life of Mark, 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 Mark, 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 Mark is in heaven reunited with his precious parents George and Kitty.
When my own dad died a couple of years ago I came across this old poem. It helped me a lot…
The Broken Chain
We little knew that day,
That God would call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.
– just think, there has recently been a great Bateman reunion – George and Kitty, Richard, Idris, Beat and Mark and other members of this lovely family.
So today is not just a day of mourning, but also a day of celebration. It must not be a day of regrets. Today we come to remember the life of Mark and reminisce over many of the special moments that we had with him and remember the special way he touched each and every one of our lives
Opening Hymn: The Old Rugged Cross
Thoughts: Mark’s sister Sandra Thorne
Mark left us a couple of weeks ago and we are all here because of his influence on our lives. Sandra, Paul, Angela and Debra you and your lovely families will feel the loss more than others, because your lives were intertwined with his from the moment you or he were born. For others of us who are here, our lives crossed Mark’s at different occasions and in different contexts in the course of time. No matter what our connection with Mark, we will never be the same again because of the man that he was. We are all a part of the wonderful legacy he left behind. Mark was everybody’s friend.
Memories: Gareth Musgrove
In the difficult times of life, I often find that human words 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 come across nearly twenty-five centuries. They seem like ancient dusty history to many who look from a distance. But if we listen, the Bible can speak to us and help us to understand the difficult times in our lives.
Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 3
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
You see, the Bible tells us that death is not an unforeseen accident. There is a time to die. It is not something left out of the purposes of our Creator. It is something well planned and necessary in the sight of God. God knew Mark needed rest. It is an appointed event that will come to all of us.
This afternoon, as we mourn his passing, we can also give thanks for Mark’s life. This is a celebration of a life well lived, a life that impacted all of us who knew him.
I believe life is a gift from God. God made us and has given us life. He has blessed our life and made it full of experiences, people and events. Each new day is a blessing and a gift from above.
Mark was a person who was given to us by God. We had the privilege of knowing him and loving him and walking along the path of life with him.
In knowing Mark we have, hopefully, become better people, I know I have! We have stored precious memories and experiences. These are, I believe, gifts to treasure.
The Bible also told us… There is a time to laugh – Sandra gave us her beautiful thoughts on her precious memories of Mark – Angela, Debra and Paul have asked me to share some of their memories too… and they are many and they all bring a smile to our faces! They remember so many happy times, wrestling with Mark or playing football with him over the park.
- They often remember the day at Cold Knap when Mark was shaking his tea towel and a passing tourist poured scorn on George for making ‘the poor boy cool you down like that!’ George packed up and went home!
- Another time Mark was bored so he decided to visit a neighbour. As it happens the neighbour was upstairs sleeping after coming home from a night shift. He was somewhat surprised to wake up with Mark sitting on his bed gently stroking his face. The fact that the man was naked at the time simply added to the fun!
- The little cul de sac, Lon y Celyn, in which The Batemans lived was a great place to grow up. One day there were two old ladies sitting on a garden wall, chatting through the events of the day. Mark walked quietly passed them and the ladies shrieks brought George running. When George came out of the house all he could see were two pairs of legs sticking up and cries of ‘Help!’ coming from the garden the other side of the wall!
- One day Mark went to visit The Hollybush flats near his home. It was about 10 stories high and Mark used to love playing in the lift. When the girls went to collect him, he would tease them by pressing the button and disappearing up or down to the next floor. One would wait at the bottom while two others waited one floor above and one floor below where they thought Mark would be. After finding him, one day, Angela picked the short straw and had to ride Mark’s bike home. On the way the police stopped her and gave her a ticking off. While this was happening, George drove by and tooted his horn, laughing all the way down Lon y Celyn.
- The family also used to visit the Military Tattoo in Cardiff, usually armed with Kittie’s beaitiful pasties!! On one visit Mark tripped up a soldier marching past in full military uniform and another time shouted ‘Hip Hip Horray’ right in the middle of the two minutes of silence!
- And finally no one will forget Mark starting to play his mouth organ right in the middle of Andrea Ashfield’s wedding. Many smiled but no one got crosss, Mark was loved too much.
There is a time to be sad. Mark knew times of sadness in his life. He found death difficult to understand. When his mum and dad died for a long time he would call out up the stairs for them.
When his precious Uncle Ainsworth passed away he would wander around their home looking for him and if he saw a car like his he would call out… ’Ainsworth!!’
The Bible also says There is a time to embrace – for Mark’s family this means a time to reach out and thank those who added so much to Mark’s life. They would like to pay tribute to all who have helped him. His teachers and carers in the schools he attended in Barry and Ty Gwyn School in Cardiff. They all loved him, even after Mark one day went into the staff room and emptied out all the handbags out on to the floor, only to feel a bit guilty and put all the stuff back in the bags, but not maybe in the right bag! The family want to pay tribute to the love , care and attention Mark always received.
In particular the family want to also thank the following
- Shoina Macrae and her team and social worker James Tranter for you untiring work and care of Mark.
- the staff of CUSS and all those involved with North West Day Services and Mark Beard in particular for the incredible support and love and care shown to Mark over many years.
- more recently the staff of Ty Coch Nursing Home, who gave Mark a real home from home.
All of you showed quite extraordinary love to Mark. From the bottom of their hearts the family would like to say… THANK YOU SO MUCH!
But death robs us of much – never again will we have Mark with us, no longer hear his voice, see him smile – no more hugs and cuddles. No more bottles of Guiness to enjoy!
Gone is the chance to tell him things you wanted to say.
But what wemust do is speak about him often and share the lessons we learnt from him with the next generation. Marky B was an incredible human being. The other day Sammy was trying to explain to little Billy that Mark was now in heaven and was beautiful and perfect. Billy looked up and said, ‘But Mummy Mark was beautiful down here!’ And he was! Mark taught us so much. He spent so much of his life smiling. He never got angry, never held a grudge. He was never knowingly mean or spiteful, but knew how to give love and he knew how to accept love freely.
Mark had a such a gentle and caring nature. There is not a person in this room who could do well to be a little bit more like Marky B!
So, God has given us his Word to help us come to terms with times like these.
He also gave us something else to help – a great and wonderful gift
The gift of memory – a powerful capacity to remember.
Remember Mark always….
- as your wonderful brother
- as a beautiful uncle and cousin, who taught us so much
- a caring and funny man who was one of our best friends.
Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive!
Remember the love that he had for us, his family and friends.
Our biggest gift to him 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 throughout his wonderful life.
He is gone.
We can shed tears that he is gone
or we can smile because he has lived.
We can close our eyes and pray that he’ll come back
or we can open our eyes and see all he’s left for us to remember.
Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see him
or they can be full of the love we shared together
We can turn our back on tomorrow and live for yesterday
or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
We can remember him and only that he’s gone
or we can cherish his memory and let it live on.
We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs
or we can do what Mark would want:
Smile….open our eyes……love each other, like he did…
and go on.
May God bless him memory to us.
Hymn: All things bright and beautiful
I commend to you those memories that are yours alone. The Mark 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. You must have no regrets. The way you, as a family, cared for Mark has been inspirational. He was loved totally and cared for wonderfully, by all of you. For all those 25 years since George died, Angela and Kevin, with Vicky and Sammy have taken a greater responsibility but you all have had input and I know Mark felt secure and treasured every day of his life. His wonderful long life is a testimony to how much he was loved. His life has touched so many in so many different ways.
Heavenly Father we thank you for the life of Mark – a good man. We thank you that his life touched both his family and the community at large for good. Now he is at peace, 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.
A quiet reflection of our dear brother – beautiful picture memories of a beautiful life.
We read, ‘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 Mark’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 Mark’s body to the ground and his Spirit to Jesus we now say:
Thank you Mark for all you have given to us in your long and loving, life. Let’s all remember that the good Mark has shown us; we must go out show to others.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all, Amen
Music: Fly by Celine Dion
Music: Forever Love by Gary Barlow