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The Road to Jerusalem

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Alan Peter Calaminus 1949-2019

When Alan and I were planning his funeral I told him I have about a dozen templates for funeral addresses, depending on the life lived and the readings chosen. Of course, Alan was having none of this,
"You're not using some old second-hand sermon on me!"
Alan Peter Calaminus definitely deserves a brand new piece of work. He was a man who could not be categorised, branded or labelled and for whom there is no template! In fact I can truly say that Co-operative Funeral Services succeeded where many others failed, by putting Alan in a box! Nevertheless I refuse to put Alan in the past tense. He is and always will be a legend in the hearts of all of us here at St Peter's and I hope that beautiful display below our north window, of flowers arranged by Alan's own hand will remain a lasting memorial to this remarkable and much loved brother in Christ. Last week I had a big Holy Spirit moment, something which happens quite rarely these days, which goes to show just how much God loved this man.

As I prepared for our midweek communion last week the Old Testament reading was Psalm 112, and as I read I just couldn't stop thinking of Alan. So as you read this, just imagine Alan and his faith in your mind.

1 Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands. No question, Alan never stopped praising the Lord, simply through the joyful way he went about life.

2 Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. These verses may present a problem, Alan had no children and he certainly wasn't wealthy, at least not in financial terms, But when it comes to love of the Lord and His blessings, Alan was indeed a millionaire!

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. From the moment he was diagnosed - way beyond the prognosis of 3-5 years, Alan told me he feared nothing. Even through his darkest moments he continued to spread the light of the gospel at Headway, the hospital, his care home, through his ministry here and with whoever he met wherever he went

5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. When Joan went to Zambia with "The Cause" Youth Project, Alan was eager to join her. Digging foundations of a refuge to shelter widows and orphans of AIDS and Malaria, always followed everywhere by a huge crowd of children who loved him like a father. When he left he arranged a standing order to help two of those kids get a proper education

6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. I'm quite sure Alan will never be forgotten by this church or by the many schools, operatic societies and carnival clubs to which he belonged.

7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Alan had no fear - not even of death - secure in the knowledge that he was loved and held in His Father's arms.

8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. I'm not sure Alan had any foes - He only made friends. And in the last few times I visited him I often had to wait in the queue outside his door to see him!

9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn will be lifted high in honour. I'm quite sure one of the main reasons Alan wasn't wealthy was because he gave so much away. But perhaps the greatest gift he shared to anyone who would listen (and a few who wouldn't) was his faith. I understand two of the drivers from the taxi firm Alan used would argue over who'd bring him over from Burnham on a Sunday morning, such was his gift of faith and the joyful generosity with which he shared it.

We should all feel deeply privileged to have shared our journey of faith with Alan Peter Calaminus. To quote the second part of that last verse, His righteousness will surely endure forever; and I'm quite sure we will lift our horns high in honour to him and follow the example of joy, generosity and love he showed to us all.

May the Lord bless you Alan, and may you dwell in His house forever.

Your brother in Christ

Geoff

 

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