Category Archives: Thanks for a life

David Kingsley Thomas

depositphotos_6426330-stock-photo-red-rose-bud

A Celebration of the Life of

DAVID KINGSLEY THOMAS

Picture1

1938 – 2017

Friday 18th August 2017 at Bethesda Chapel, Dinas Powys 12:30pm

Entrance  –  Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A Major

 

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. Without you, we have nothing to hope for; with you we have nothing to fear. Speak to us we pray, and lift us from anxiety and sadness to the light and peace of your presence.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

On behalf of  Margaret, Richard, Nicola and their families, I welcome you here this afternoon. You will never know how much your presence  is appreciated. Thank you.

David Thomas was a lovely man. He was kind, thoughtful and was never one to complain, whatever life threw at him. We are here this afternoon to celebrate his wonderful life. David was a man who loved and was loved, by his family, his circle of friends and indeed all who knew him.

He was born one of four children – he had two brothers and one sister-  in Pontypridd in 1938, although the family home was in Merthyr. He was born very early and was tiny – His family would often tease hime after he had grown and told him that he would have fitted into a pint pot!

As a tribute to the doctor who delivered him safely,  he was given the name Kingsley. His health wasn’t good and indeed he suffered with asthma and chest problems all his life. Yet, David was strong and despite his health problems, he went on to outlive all his siblings.

In his childhood to help with his health problems, he attended Jones West Monmouth School as a boarder – a school famous for educating Sir Anthony Hopkins and five past or current Welsh international rugby players including Terry Cobner, Graham Price and even one England International Mako Vinupola.

The motto of the school is, Believe, Achieve, Succeed, and for David that meant  – in true valleys boy fashion – working hard to provide for the family that you love and seeing your wife and children succeed in life, supported by his love and hard work. Both Richard and Nicola went on to achieve degrees at University and David always supported them in the life choices they made.

When David and Margaret started courting he was working as a chemist in Dow Corning and Margaret was back in Merthyr. In the pre-mobile phone days that meant Margaret finding a call box near home and David finding one in Cardiff. Their coordination skills were first class!

David’s main concern in his life was that he was providing a loving home for his wife and family. That, he certainly did – and now he is at rest and that is hard for us to deal with

In the difficult times of life, like this, I often find that human words often fall short of what we would like them to say.  But it is then that the Bible speaks to us with power and healing if we will but listen.  These words come across nearly thirty centuries. They seem like ancient dusty history to many who look from a distance.  But if we will listen, the Bible speaks them to each one of us.

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Those verses from The Bible tell us that death is not an unforeseen accident.  It is not something left out of the purpose of our Creator.   It is something well planned and necessary in the sight of God. I believe God knew David needed to rest.  It is an appointed event that will come to all of us.

David left us peacefully on 16th July 2017 and we are here because of his influence on our lives.  For you Margaret, Richard and Nicola – you are his wife and children and your lives were intertwined with his for many years. For others of us who are here, our lives crossed David’s at different times and different contexts in the course of time.  No matter what our connection with David, all of our lives have been touched by David’s.  We are all a part of the wonderful legacy he left behind.

Hymn – How Great Thou Art

 

Scripture Reading – Edward Thomas – Psalm 23

 

Family thoughts

Richard Thomas

India Clatworthy

Nicola Clatworthy

 

 

 Message of comfort and hope

Mr Roger Newberry

There are places in Scripture that are powerful, so deep, that to read them is to experience them. Psalm 23 is one of those places.

Psalm 23 is very personal. There are no references to “we” or “us” or “they,” but only “my” and “me” and “I” and “You.” This is David the psalmist’s testimony, his personal experience with God. It is precious to us. And what makes this a constant friend is that it covers all of life. With simple beauty, it speaks of green pastures and still waters as well as dark valleys and enemies and adversities.

But what comforts us and helps us is the psalm’s confidence. The writer really believes this about God. He has experienced God in these ways, heard His voice, followed His lead, felt His care. All these can be ours if we put our faith and trust in God!

Notice that in the first three verses, David refers to God in the third person: “The Lord is my Shepherd. He makes me lie down . . . He leads me . . . He restores my soul.”

Then, in v 4-5, David shifts, referring to Him in second person: “I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me . . . You anoint my head with oil.” And then, he closes by returning to third person: “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Why does David switch from talking about God with ‘He’ to talking to God with ‘You,’ and why does it happen in v. 4? Why didn’t he just go on to say, ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for He is with me; His rod and His staff, they comfort me’?”

May I suggest that the change “He” to the more intimate “You” happens in v. 4 precisely because it’s there he speaks of the valley he has walked. He has felt the shadows closing in. Verse 4 describes the crisis points in his life. Just the kind of situation Margaret, Richard and Nicola and their families are in as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of one who was so dear to them.

And did you notice? We’re more prone to talk about God when we are in the green pastures and more prone to talk to God when we’re in that difficult place. In the light, we are prone to wander off in pursuit of greener grass. But in the dark, we reach out to God and hold him.

David changes from comments about God to communion with God because during his valley time, he stayed ever so close to the Shepherd, never taking his eyes of Him. He had experienced God in a way there that had ushered him toward intimacy with the Almighty Shepherd.

We have a God who is closer than we think in times of crisis. My prayer this afternoon is that God will imprint His truth in your heart that you will find your confidence in Him rise above the storm clouds in your life, even as David did.

Notice also something else…

First, it’s a shadow. We walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Why is it only a shadow?  Because Jesus, our shepherd, has conquered death once for all. Thus, for the Christian, all that remains of death, is a shadow.

Someone once said…. Just like the shadow of a snake cannot bite you, or the shadow of a sword cannot cut you…the shadow of death does not bring fear to those who follow Jesus.

And who better to lead us through the shadow than Jesus—who himself conquered it?

Notice too, that we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. We are just passing through it. We won’t be lost in it forever.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

The rod and the staff were the tools of a shepherd…and they brought great comfort to the sheep.

The shepherd would use the rod to protect the sheep from anyone or anything that would seek to do them harm. The shepherd with his rod, would tap each sheep on the head and count them at the end of each day. He wanted to make sure each sheep was accounted for. If one was missing, he would go and find it.

The staff was a long stick with a hook on the end. If a sheep would wander away and get himself in trouble, the shepherd would lift the sheep out with the hook.

David, following his shepherd God, found comfort in knowing that God would account for him and lift him out of dangerous situations.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

In this final scene of the Psalm, we see that David knows he will dwell with the LORD, his shepherd, forever.

In David’s day, kings would often throw great banquets. And at these banquets, it was customary for the guest of honour to have a huge spread of food laid out before him. He had a special chair at the table. And the king would anoint the guest of honour’s head with a special oil. He would set a cup before him and that cup would never go empty.

Do you remember how just a few verses ago, David was walking through the valley of the shadow of death? Now he is the guest of honour at a great banquet.

And David finishes by saying

Surely goodness and love with follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 

Someone once said the words, “All this, and heaven too!” That is what David is thinking. He is the guest of honour at the Lord’s table, his cup overflows, and the food is abundant.

And not only that, goodness and love will follow him forever and he will get to dwell in the house of the LORD forever. All this, and heaven too!

No wonder David penned these famous words…and there is no wonder that King David found comfort in them and I trust that our David felt that too!

Jean, my wife, shared with Margaret and I some lovely words of comfort. She had been praying for David for many months and on the day David left us, God gave her these words from Scripture:

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago… he will swallow up death for ever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. In that day they will say,

‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.

Isaiah Chapter 25

 

So, we are praying that the God of David the Psalmist became the God of David the lovely husband, father and grampy we remember this afternoon. So, as we mourn his passing, we can also give thanks for David’s life.

I believe life is a gift from God.  As we read earlier, there is a time to be born. God has made us and given us life. God blesses our lives and makes them full of experiences, people and events.  Each day is a blessing and a gift from above.

It is my belief that David 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.

We have stored memories and experiences.  These are gifts from God.

 

But death robs us of much – never again will we have David with us, no longer hear his voice, see his smile – no more of his wonderful sense of humour.

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

Wonder how you will deal with it?  With those promises from the Bible.

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

The gift of memory – a powerful capacity to remember.

That is what God wants you to do with David.

Remember him as your husband, father, father in law, grandfather  and your friend.

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

Remember the love that he had for family, his willingness to always work hard in order to provide for his family.

The separateness and uniqueness of each human life is the basis of our grief in bereavement. We could look through the whole world and we would find there is no one like David.

He still lives on in our memories. Though no longer a visible part of our lives, he will always remain a member of your family or circle through the influence he has had on you and the special part he played in your lives.

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 life.

May God bless his memory to us.

Dear family

  • I commend to you those memories that are yours alone. The David 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 to you the love and strength of the church. This church here is a caring community of faith and can be a means of grace in the days and months to come. Margaret, this church will always be here for you and your lovely family!

 

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

 

Hymn:  – Ten thousand resaons

Blessing – Isaac Thomas

As you leave today please be aware that the family invite you to St Andrews Major Golf Club to enjoy some refreshments and an opportunity to share memories of dear David.

I hope, like me, you will leave with a feeling of having shared in something very special, for a very special man.

 

Exit to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major

 

 

The Committal at Cardiff and The Vale Crematorium

 

On behalf of David’s family, I would like to thank each one of you for being here today… and though today is a very difficult day the scriptures make this promise:

John 14 v 1 – 6

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. “Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

We see in this wonderful passage some great truths that quiet our hearts even in the most difficult of circumstances.

The first is that peace is promised. Notice the words “Let not you heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me”. Yes, I know that today is a day of sadness – a day of grief, a day of mourning, yet even in the midst of this we can have peace. We can have peace if we have faith. God is here. He is present. Believe in Him – Trust in Him and God will grant you his perfect peace.

The second thought of comfort is that God has prepared a place for us. Did you notice that in John 14, it says; “I go to prepare a place for you.” Jesus has been preparing a place for us for two thousand years. What a place that must be. The verse tells us that it is The Father’s house and that there are many rooms. Isn’t that a comforting thought? God has prepared a place for us.

The next thought of comfort is that God has prepared a way for us to get there. Everyone wants to go to heaven, some just don’t know the way. But Jesus tells us in John 14 that, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” We are all travellers on a road called life. There are many detours and many side streets. We don’t need to be confused – we don’t need to be lost. All we need to do is follow Jesus. He will show us the way – in fact He is the way. He will lead us and He will guide us. That’s comforting.

He Is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or it can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what David would want:

Smile, open your eyes, love each other and go on.

 

Earlier I 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 this last act, in sorrow but without fear, in love and appreciation, and since it has pleased Almighty God to take to himself the soul of our dear husband, father and friend David, we commit his 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 our Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our frail bodies that they may be conformed to his glorious body, who died, was buried, and rose again for us.
To him be glory for ever

 Prayer

God of all grace, who in Jesus Christ our Saviour brought eternal life: we give you thanks that by his death he has destroyed the power of death and sin, and by his resurrection opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Help us to know and believe that because He lives, those who trust in him will live also, and that neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from your love, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Almighty God, strengthen those who sorrow; enable them to look to Jesus Christ for encouragement and hope, that through the Scriptures they may place their trust in the God who raised him from the dead.

Amen.

 

 

 

Benediction

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord show you His kindness and have mercy on you. May the Lord watch over you and give you peace.

Amen

 

Having committed David’s body to be cremated we now say: “Thank you David for all you have given to us in your long and loving life. 
The good you have shown us, we will show to others.

We have been remembering with love and gratitude of a life that has ended. Let us return to our own homes and to our work, enriched and inspired by these memories of David.

I hope, like me, you will leave with a feeling of having shared in something very special, for a very special man.

 

Exit: Without You!  Acker Bilk.

 

Roger Newberry -August 2017

 

 

 

A service of celebration for the life of Mark Thomas Bateman.

Celebrating the wonderful life of  Mark Bateman

Picture1

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.

Picture8

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.

Picture3

 

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.

Picture4

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.

Picture5

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

 

Dear family

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.

Picture6

Prayer

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.

Amen

 

A quiet reflection of our dear brother – beautiful picture memories of a beautiful life.

 

The Committal

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.

 

Benediction.

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

 

Music:  Fly by Celine Dion

Music:  Forever Love by Gary Barlow

 

1958504_10154207173762784_8664439701116721009_n

 ©RogerNewberry2016

Edward Stuart Ashfield

 

 

A Celebration of the Life

of

EDWARD (STUART) ASHFIELD

Légion d’Honneur

1923 – 2017

Tuesday 31st January 2017 at Thorhill Crematorium, Cardiff

 

 Entrance  –  An Evening’s Pastorale by Wilfred Shaw

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you have not made us for darkness and death, but for life with you for ever. Without you we have nothing to hope for; with you we have nothing to fear. Speak to us now your words of eternal life. Lift us from anxiety and sadness to the light and peace of your presence and set the glory of your love before us.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

On hehalf of the family I welcome you here this afternoon. You will never know how much your presence here is appreciated. Thank you.

Stuart Ashfield was a lovely man. He was kind, thoughtful and was never one to complain, whatever life threw at him. We are here this afternoon to celebrate his wonderful life.

Stuart was a man who loved and was loved, by his family, wide circle of friends and indeed all who knew him

In the difficult times of life I often find that human words often fall short of what we would like them to say.  But it is then that the Bible speaks to us with power and healing if we will but listen.  These words come across nearly thirty centuries. They seem like ancient dusty history to many who look from a distance.  But if we will listen, the Bible speaks them to each one of us.

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

 

 

A Tribute to Stuart Ashfield

Read by Mrs Angela Ashfield

Stuart has written this with Andrea’s help and I am reading this on his behalf.

I was thinking the other day, as you do when reflecting on the loss of a loved one, how much Mum, Andrea, Angela, Phil and I loved dad.

Both Andrea and I were very lucky to grow up with a great Dad. Some don’t have that good fortune, or for as long as we did.  We had a great Dad –  and here are some of the reasons why.

Dad was hard working. He had a number of jobs during his life from delivery boy up to Warehouse Manager, always giving everything he could to the job. Latterly he was a Director for Bateman’s the Welsh Grocers who were a family firm and probably the first major supermarket chain in Wales, and many of the Bateman family are here today. He was always known to all the staff as Mr A.

Dad was thoughtful. He would always put others before himself and frequently offer assistance to anyone who needed it.

Dad was adventurous. Organising  family holidays to many places, even overland trips in a campervan through France and into Southern Spain. This trip was groundbreaking in the early 1960s when package holidays were still in their infancy.

Dad was fun – Always helping us as kids with the latest project or fad like building a “bogie” (for you younger ones, this was what a ten year old would class as playtime before the invention of the iPad). It was a short plank of wood on wheels, and you could steer the front wheels with a piece of string and set off down a steep hill with only your shoe leather as a brake. When I grew up we spent many a happy evening together supporting Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, with dad loudly ringing his hand bell to cheer them on and deafening me in the process.

Andrea also had a beautiful relationship with Dad and has so many memories of him she said she found it hard to pinpoint just one. Dad really enjoyed her visits especially for one particular reason. He loved his tea piping hot and relentlessly teased Mum about Andrea being able to make a better and hotter cuppa.

Dad was brave – The word “Hero” is used too easily these days. If you can play sport well you are described as a hero, but that is not  heroic. You are fortunate to have a skill that you are good at but you are not a Hero. A hero is someone like Dad and his comrades who put their lives on the line for the freedom their Country.

 

Dad was proud– He was a long time member of the “Royal Engineers Association” and was very active within it. Being a standard bearer with a keen eye for detail, such as making sure the brass finial was polished so that you could see your face in it. He was also the treasurer for a number of years.

Recently Dad was very proud and honoured to be awarded the medal Legion d’honneur by the French Government for his part in the freedom of France during the Second World War.

It was presented to him by the French Consul and the Lord Mayor of Cardiff at a ceremony a week before he went into hospital. The picture on the front of the Order of Service was taken at the ceremony.

Dad was caring. Always making sure everyone was looked after, and enquiring if he could do anything to help out.

During the final chat I had with Dad at Llandough Hospital before the last 10 days in which he became very ill and was not able to converse properly, he was still asking how everyone was and saying what a strain it must be for the family to see him like this and that his quality of life had gone.

Dad was loving and protective– Always making sure that Mum and Andrea were safe, and looked after.

I could go on describing what made him a great Dad, however, it can all be summed up in saying he was not just a great Dad but the best Dad we could have had and we will miss him deeply.

Angela’s extra- For my part I will always remember how Stuart (and Mo of course) made me feel very much part of the family, as he also did with Andrea’s beloved Phil, and I will miss him very much.

Here is a poem entitled “Our Hero” – which Andrea found and completely sums up how we feel.

 

You held our hands

When we were small

You caught us when we fell

You’re the hero of our childhood

And our later years as well

And every time we think of you

Our hearts still fill with pride

And though we’ll always miss you dad

We know you are by our side

In laughter and in sorrow

In sunshine and through rain

We know you’re watching over us

Until we meet again.

 

Thoughts from Sandra Thorne in Australia

Malcolm and I are so sorry to have to miss this celebration of dear Stuart’s life . Young Stuart wanted me to mention my memories of his Dad. The main thing that I would have mentioned is his patience with his girl friend’s niece. How many young men would agree to take his girl friend’s niece out on a date with them?! Well, I went on many a date with Mo and Stuart. After they got married Stuart bought a motor bike and guess who went on the pillion? Yes, me! Mo had to go in the side-car. I was taken with them to the speedway every Thursday to watch the Cardiff Dragons. Mo made cheese and pickle sandwiches and a flask of tea. I took all this for granted but now realise that Stuart was a very special man. Malcolm loved Stuart as much as I did. Stuart welcomed him into the clan with open arms and warm friendship. Malcolm and I are so deeply sorry not to be at the funeral, but are hearts will be there. I can’t remember a time when Stuart wasn’t in my life. How lucky I’ve been.

 

 

 

From Len Bateman in New Zealand

I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Stuart, he was a great and fun guy. I do miss him, give my condolences to his family.

 

From Theo, Stuart’s nephew in South Africa

I am so sorry that I am not able to be present at this most solemn occasion. Stuart was a man who gave so much for his country. He was an adoring husband and a loving father. He always had a smile for everyone and a wonderful sense of humour.

 

From Paul Bateman in Margate, Kent

I will always remember the holidays I had when Uncle Stuart drove Auntie Mo, Stuart, Andrea and me to Spain on holiday. We had such fun and Uncle Stuart always showed me kindness. I will never forget him.

 

Hymn

I watch the sunrise.

Stuart loved to lie in bed and watch the beautiful sunrise over his home.

 

Address

Mr Roger Newberry

Ecclesiastes Ch 3

 

The Bible tell us in Ecclesiastes 3 that death is not an unforeseen accident.  It is not something left out of the purpose of our Creator.   It is something well planned and necessary in the sight of God. I believe God knew Stuart needed to rest.  It is an appointed event that will come to all of us.

Stuart left us peacefully on 15th January 2017 and we are here because of his influence on our lives.  For you Maureen, Stuart, Angela and Andrea – you are his wife and children and your lives were intertwined with his for many years. For others of us who are here, our lives crossed Stuart’s at different times and different contexts in the course of time.  No matter what our connection with Stuart, we will never be the same again because of the man he was.  We are all a part of the wonderful legacy he left behind.

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

I believe life is a gift from God.  The Bible tells us there is a time to be born. God has made us and given us life. God blesses our lives and makes them full of experiences, people and events.  Each day is a blessing and a gift from above.  It is my belief that Stuart 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 Stuart 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 Stuart with us, no longer hear his voice, see his smile – no more of his wonderful sense of humour. Gone is the chance to tell him things you wanted to say

Wonder how you will deal with it?  With the promises of the Bible.

Let’s go back to the Bible

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. 

 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.

God gave us something else to help – a great and wonderful gift. The gift of memory – a powerful capacity to remember. That is what God wants you to do with Stuart.

Remember him as your husband, father, father in law  and your friend. Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive. Remember the love that he had for family, his willingness to serve his country in the dark days of war.

Stuart was a hero. Any young man who willingly stepped out onto those Normandy beaches in 1944, will always to my mind be a hero. Juno Beach in June 1944 would not have been a great place to be.

G.K. Chesterton, English author once said….
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

In 2015 we have heard that Stuart was given the French Legion d’Honneur – The French Legion of Honour. It was given to all surviving D. Day veterans to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landings. The Legion of Honour is the highest national decoration. For two centuries, it has been rewarding the outstanding merits of citizens and designating them as models of French civic service. It was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s

What the creation of the Legion of Honour heralded was important: it was not given to privileged people, you couldn’t buy one, the only way to get one was to earn one by serving the country and people of France

General de Gaulle undertook a major reform of the system of national decorations in 1962. For the Legion of Honour, to preserve its special status he set a maximum number of living members (125,000).  Stuart is part of a very select group of people.

Two days after Stuart died, Maureen was hanging clothes in the washing line when three geese flew very low overhead – usually there are about thirty in such a group. When she went back into the house and shared this with Andrea, her response was… ‘That’s dad’s flypast!  (Andrea has obviously inherited Stuart’s quick sense of humour!

The separateness and uniqueness of each human life is the basis of our grief in bereavement. We could look through the whole world and there is no one like Stuart.

He still lives on in our memories. Though no longer a visible part of our lives, he will always remain a member of your family or circle through the influence he has had on you and the special part he played in your lives. We know that the value and meaning of life consists in living it and living it well. People who have been a strength and comfort to others and have worked for future generations, deriving fulfilment and satisfaction from so doing, these are the people who bring value and meaning to life.

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 life.

May God bless his memory to us.

Dear family

  • I commend to you those memories that are yours alone. The Stuart 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 in Him the strength and peace that He alone can bring.

 

 

 

He Is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what Stuart would want:

Smile, open your eyes, love each other and go on.

 

The Committal

Would you please stand for the committal…

Earlier I 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 this last act, in sorrow but without fear, in love and appreciation, and since it has pleased Almighty God to take to himself the soul of our dear husband, father and friend Stuart, we commit his body to be cremated, ashes to ashes in the sure and certain knowledge that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

 

The last post .

Benediction

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord show you His kindness and have mercy on you.
May the Lord watch over you and give you peace.

Amen

 

As you leave today please be aware that the family would invite you to The Manor Park to enjoy some refreshments and an opportunity to share memories of dear Stuart. I hope, like me, you will leave with a feeling of having shared in something very special, for a very special man.

 

Exit: The Royal Engineer’s March.

 

Roger Newberry – January 2017

Angus Mayer – my friend.

Angus Mayer

This simple remembrance of a friend was delivered at his funeral on 24th September 2016 at The Wenallt Chapel in Cardiff. Angus was a one off – one of life’s great individuals. He and his wife Margaret, whom he adored, are the central characters in a wonderful love story. Their family is truly one of the kindest you will ever meet. It’s a privilege to call them my friends.

 

14446057_1108907369196325_9138152391557769970_n

My friend

Jean and I were speaking with Angus just a couple of days before he left us and he held Jean’s hand and through his tears he said, ‘I have always tried to be a good man.’ As he said it I smiled and thought to myself. ‘No Angus you are not a good man….  you are a great man!’

In my eyes, that’s what he was – a great man and a great friend.

Somehow, I knew that the time between us meeting like this to say goodbye to Margaret and meeting again to say goodbye to Angus would be a short one and so it turned out. They were inseperable in life and will now be inseperable in death.

Angus left us a little while ago and we are here because of his influence on our lives.  For you his family… your lives were intertwined with his from the moment you were born.  For others of us who are here, our lives crossed Angus’s at different times and in different contexts in the course of time.  No matter what our connection with him we will never be the same again because of the man he was.  We are all a part of the wonderful legacy that Angus and Margaret Mayer have left behind.

39072_413161716330_3507407_n

 

4632_85150181330_5564547_n

This morning as we mourn his passing, we are also celebrating Angus’s  life.  I believe life is a gift from God. It’s a gift made to be full of experiences, people and events. We had the privilege of knowing him and loving him and walking along the path of life with him.

In knowing Angus we have, hopefully become better people.

I was first introduced to Angus and Margaret soon after I started courting Jean. She told me of this wonderful family she knew and visited regularly. She just loved her visits to Fairfax Road. Without fail, she was welcomed every time, you children were asked to budge up and make room and a plate of something homemade and special was put in front of her. It was only later in life that  Jean realised that Angus and Margaret were probably giving her their own food. But they did it willingly. That’s the kind of people they were!

Jean loved her visits and longed one day to have a family of her own just like The Mayers.

img_4102

For me… I loved both Angus and Margaret from the very first time I met them and my love for them both never stopped growing. We were frequent visitors to their home down through the years and it became our custom to visit them every Christmas Eve. Each year one of his terrines was opened up and each year he would say the same thing…

’I wouldn’t cut this before Christmas Day for anyone else you know!’

Last year it was a Christmas Cake. He was very proud that Cath had made it.

Last week, we promised Gus that wherever he was, we would still visit him on Christmas Eve. He appreciated that! You can be sure we would have kept that promise and you can also be sure he and your mum will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will remember them in a special way on December 24th!

 

One by one our children were introduced to him. The first time my son Gareth visited, Margaret informed us that Gus was in the greenhouse. Out in the garden we were met by a great cloud of feathers and suddenly Angus’s booming  voice came through the cloud!  He was busy plucking pheasants. It’s a story we retell at regular intervals!

Kate, my daughter, was fascinated this year when Gus met us wearing an old cardigan which had a massive paper clip attached to the zip, replacing the obviously broken orignal. To me that summed up the lovely man that Gus was… quirky, eccentric, funny and so very interesting. I loved just sitting and listening to him tell his stories! Your dad was a master storyteller. He was the best cook I ever knew, his cross stitch skills were remarkable and one of our prized posessions is a signed and framed cross stich of Creation – Day One that Angus made for us several years ago. Trust me every time we pass it we smile and think of our lovely friend.

img_0486img_0488

He loved life – cooking, decorating, building, gardening at home and at the allotment , fishing, but most of all he loved his family. His face would light up when he spoke of you all.

32803-01

 

czf4bcxxeaaqks9

Death robs us of much – never again will we have Angus with us, no longer will we hear his voice, see his smile – no more hugs and handshakes.  Gone is the chance to tell him things you wanted to say.

How are we going to cope? We have something to help – a great and wonderful gift

The gift of memory…

Remember how much he loved your mum.  Remember him as your wonderful father, grandfather and your friend. Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive. Remember the fun times.

One day he said to me ‘Roger I could never be a teacher’

I didn’t have the foresight to say ‘But Gus, you are a teacher already!’

He didn’t realise all the things he taught us all about living life to the full, about overcoming life’s obstacles, about filling life with great experiences and about LOVING!

Let us promise that the good Angus and Margaret showed to us in their lives, we will now show to others and keep their memory alive!

 

 

1936993_979175422169521_6678014537502744852_n

They are gone.

We can shed tears that they are gone
or we can smile because they have lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that they will come back
or we can open our eyes and see all they’ve left for us to remember.

Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see them
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 them and only that they’ve gone
or we can cherish their memory and let it live on.

We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs
or we can do what Angus and Margaret would want:

Smile….open our eyes……

love each other like they did…

and go on.

4632_85151931330_6851279_n

 

 

Mick Hunt – my friend


 Mick Hunt – my friend.

Untitled

This is a copy of my memories of my friend, given at the Service of Thanksgiving for his life in Birkenhead, near Liverpool on Tuesday 26th May 2015. I shared these memories with the family – a family we did not know at the time – but who have now become our dear friends.

We have travelled 216 miles to be with you today and need to travel 216 miles back home later but today miles mean nothing, it’s a privilege to be with you all as we celebrate my friend Mick’s life. Last week we were in Spain and I would have travelled back from there if I it meant I could be with you all on this special day. Mick was our friend. We loved him dearly!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about this lovely man.

Mick and I met sometime in the 1980s I guess, when Mick came with a friend called Clive Williams to run Open Air Mission beach meetings on Barry Island beach in The Vale of Glamorgan. Mick and Clive made a superb double act. Different as chalk and cheese but men who shared a common desire to share the Christian message with anyone they could. After experiencing trouble in Barry, where their vans were stoned and broken into, they parked their caravans on our church car park at Bethesda Chapel in Dinas Powys. My wife Jean and I were Youth Leaders at the time and we became very friendly and a friendship soon grew with the young people and us and it led to Mick spending a lot of time in our home.

Mick and I too, were very different in many ways, but that only sought to bring us close. Mick was my spiritual father and taught me so much about life and living life as a Christian. We spent many hours talking about Christian things. He was just a wonderful man. I loved to hear him preach and Jean and I, and anyone else who was around, used to sit enthralled, as he would tell us stories about his work with the Open Air Mission, especially his escapades with his dear old friend Clive. The story of Clive’s visit to a hospital with gallstones is forever etched on our memories. Clive, in desperate pain, struggling with a hospital gown, putting it on the wrong way around and Mick struggling to protect Clive’s modesty, while comforting and encoring his old friend. I still giggle every time the story comes to my mind. He shared with us many anecdotes, like the ones about being made to listen to Clive’s LP records of steam train sound effects and bird songs. Visits to the famous Dai Woodham train scrapyard in Barry were a must for Clive every year and Mick always tagged along.

barry looking east1

Even after he retired he would often drive down to spend time in our home. We loved him and the whole church loved him. He even spent holidays with us when he could. When we were in Craven Arms, Tewkesbury and Dulverton in Devon and many other places, he joined us and we spent happy times together.

Untitled

I think he loved us in South Wales. We certainly loved him.

One special memory I have is about an old Bible. During one visit to us in the early nineties Mick was admiring my new loose leaf Bible, he said he had been looking for one like it for ages. As he was leaving at the end of the visit, I ran after him and gave him the Bible. At first he refused it, but eventually took it with him. During the years he had it, he used it well and we often spoke about it. Several months ago he gave it back to me. It’s one of my greatest treasures. I gave it to him brand new. He returned it battered and stuck with sellotape… and full of sermons! During the time he had it that Bible and the messages he preached will have touched many lives for good. I will NEVER give it away again!

We made many visits to see Mick and once joined him in Chester Market, where he had a stall selling Christian books, cards and stuff like that!

11070761_10153425725077784_6814122399485803287_n

 Mick with Kate.

In 1991 Mick came to us with an idea. He had recently got involved with a charity called Operation Christmas Child based in Wrexham. It took aid out to Romanian orphanages.

Untitled

Untitled

He wanted our church Young People’s Choir to come up to Wrexham and sing in a concert at the William Ashton Hall. We did it and had such a great time performing and meeting Mick’s family for the first time.

Untitled

Untitled

As far as I can see Mick only had one real bad flaw in his character. He was a Chelsea fan and my son Gaz and I would tease him endlessly about it. We tried hard over the years to convert him to supporting a proper team like Manchester United but we failed. Mick would have left us earlier this month happy that his beloved Blues were the champions! I will miss those happy times.

One thing for sure is that he loved his family. He spoke of you all constantly and I teased him all the time about the fact that he gave all his girls the same first name… Our Bev, Our Amanda and Our Marie.

Untitled

To you, his family, daughters, sons in law, grandchildren… let me tell you this…you all meant the world to him. Every time I was with Mick he spoke affectionately and at length about you.

If I am honest I don’t think he ever really got over losing your mum, which, I believe, was a sadness he always carried with him. He loved her. He loved you all and spoke proudly of you and all the things you had done done. When Rebecca rang to tell us the sad news of Mick’s passing, it was as if we knew her.

Jean and I were so very grateful for the phone calls from Bev and Rebecca, when you let us know of Mick’s passing. I told Mick constantly that I was worried if any thing happened to him I would want to know. It always brought a chuckle from him. He said he would arrange it… and he did. Thank you so very much, although it was the phone call I always dreaded.

Mick meant so much to us in our family and in our church in South Wales. In the eyes of the world maybe just a simple man who had a tough start in life, but to us a true friend, a Christian brother and a truly great man.

Treasure your memories and always be proud of your dad. We will always love him and will certainly never forget him.

Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive. Always remember the love that he had for his children and grandchildren, the community and the poor times of his childhood. Remember the fun times and there were so many of these! The Bible tells us – there’s a time to mourn and a time to laugh. Remember his example.

Mick loved people, hence his work with the Open Air Mission and he had a way of drawing out the best from people.

He taught us all that 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 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.

Let us promise that the good Mick showed to us in his life, we will now show to others and keep his memory alive!

……………………………………………………………………………………….

 A few friends from South Wales have sent their love and best wishes.

Llinos and Graeme Burt

150268_10150102148886393_5716132_n

I’ll never forget helping at Barry Beach Mission with Mick. He was such a lively character. I’m grateful for the opportunity he gave us as 15/16 year olds to try new things. It was Mick who encouraged us to play Clive’s accordion. The kids loved him – even with his tattoos!

 Jason and Kate Erickson

10525380_10152713551197323_3334550758160398551_n

Mick was a great man of God, I always remember his passion for Jesus in life and in the beach missions he did with Clive! We spent many great holidays in Devon and Cornwall, often debating how much he disliked Man United lol 🙂

A rough and ready, tough looking, kindhearted man of God… I loved him!

Natalie Rolley

1525078_10152854401156393_1507997596_n

Mick was such a lovely man.  Still remember him putting a tattooed finger into my son Stephen’s mouth when he was about 4 weeks old to comfort him. Jean and I were looking at each other in horror, but knowing he meant no harm. I’m so saddened to hear the news but know heaven has now got an amazing character with the biggest heart xxx

Sharon Wilson

1458485_10152065095988593_1039539989_n

Loved working with Mick as a teenager at the holiday clubs, so many memories of being on Barry Island beach and the caravan parked out the back of the church. Over the years Mick became a dear friend, who visited us on many of our group Easter holidays. Visited him once in Coedpoeth and we were touched that he had been out to buy us cakes and croissants for breakfast.

Gareth and Keri Newberry

11182705_10153267500534933_3407694033463843178_o

Mick was brilliant and a great friend. We talked about anything, but especially we loved talking football. My favourite Mick saying? ‘He’s a lemon!… an absolute lemon!’ I loved his stories of his travels with his sidekick Clive Williams and the other stories of preaching in the tough parts of Liverpool and the time he got his car wheels nicked! Priceless!! He was a great friend to my dad and a great friend to me.

 Bethany Davies

1150135_10153427972631393_7887658026435953542_n

I loved it when Mick came to visit us.  I was really young. I remember he slept in the downstairs bedroom and always got up early to read his Bible. He used to walk around with me standing on his feet. I really loved Mick – I will miss him.

Lisa Newberry

10489956_10153284958126393_1637049644698806719_n

I will always think of Mick and smile at the banter we used to have! I loved that full on mickey taking (no pun intended!) that you used to get with him and the fact that you always knew that he only did it because he liked you and enjoyed the challenge! I won’t go into the time that we visited him (Sharon refers to it!) and I had food poisoning from an Ogmore Vale custard slice…. Bad times

Heidi Trotman

10358865_10153003853854002_6709250815726835349_n

Ahhh…. Mick a great friend and a great character. Many happy memories of time spent with Mick in Dinas Powys.

Mark and Julie Thompson

942776_10151577136199500_1343679562_n

We have spent so many happy times with Mick over the years. We especially enjoyed coming to Wrexham, where I conducted the choir. A great man with a great heart! Much missed. Our thoughts are with his family.

Jean Newberry

10540674_10152764273890850_8259624827352468549_o

Mick was a true friend in every sense of the word. He shared our home, he shared our church and he shared our lives. He was funny, genuine and one of my very best friends. Rog and I adored him.

Kevin Welch

10537025_4612553607786_4329534359999710850_n

Only heard him speak once, but what a story. He’s in a better place now.

…………………………………………..

 

 

He is gone.

We can shed tears that Mick 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 that 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 our yesterdays.

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 Mick would want:

Smile,

Open our eyes,

Love each other…

…and go on.

Post Script

We attended Mick’s funeral, or better put the Thanksgiving service for his wonderful life and Tuesday 26th May 2016. The funeral was held in Landican Crematorium in Birkenhead.

Unknown2 Unknown1

The service was held in the beautiful South Chapel, which was such a lovely setting. Proceedings were led by Rob Jeffs a wonderful old man who sounded so like Mick when he spoke. He was superb! Friendly, funny and serious at different times, just when he needed to be, He put the family at ease and reminded us  what an amazing character Mick was. The truth of Mick’s Christian faith shone through so clearly. It was a service which honoured God and helped us all give thanks for the wonderful life that Mick lived. Unlike any other crematorium I have ever visited, the service was relaxed and we never felt rushed. After the service we introduced ourselves to the family and instantly new friendships began.

The wake followed at The Basset Hound, nearby hostelry. This, too, was a lovely place, homely and friendly. We were given a private space where we shared stories of Mick. Mick’s family are wonderful and we saw immediately why he loved them so much.UnknownWe had a beautiful time with Mick’s family and left with armloads of food from the buffet for our long journey home.

After leaving The Basset Hound, we made one last emotional journey to see Mick’s bungalow. Mick lived in Bethany Crescent in Bebington. This is a lovely crescent of bungalows built in 1927 by a chap called Archie Boulton.

800px-Bethany_Crescent,_Bebington_-_DSC_0021

The trust that was set up in his name is listed in the charity commission as

A H BOULTON TRUST

TO AID THE ERECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF BUILDINGS USED FOR THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL, RELIEVING THE SICK OR NEEDY OR OFFERING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS CONSIDERED TO BE DESERVING BY THE TRUSTEES

Mick was offered a home here because of his long commitment of preaching the Christian message which meant so much to him.

11219331_10153443787112784_8895658231497759897_n

10628401_10153443787182784_6100216625280526137_n

We looked in through the window of his bungalow, and it was as if he had just left. His old chair was there – empty now – and the picture Becky Thomson had drawn on one of the holidays Mick had been with us, was on the fireplace as it always was. His Chelsea picture was there too… We thought and talked about Mick, smiled a bit, shed a tear or two but above all else left happy because of this lovely man who had made such an impact on our lives.

10957133_10153443787222784_1769578936442438767_n

Thank you Mick!