The Alpha Course
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At Christ Church Moreton Hall we said good bye to our former Church warden Peter PinelBelow is the oration from his funeral which we hope some of you will find helpful at what is a joyous and yet sad time.
Funeral address for Peter Pinel
It is going to be hard to summarise peters life in just a few words because it was so full of stories, amazing - wonderful - occasionally sad but usually very funny stories. Of all these stories maybe his was the best of all.
The Jersey man born into a loving resourceful and courageous family, who faced together in his childhood all the horrors of the Nazi occupation, so Peter knew what hunger and privation, was from his earliest years. Yet he grew up with love happiness faith and indomitable courage, which as we will see were some of the hallmarks of his life. Then there were the RAF years, which began another story - his lifelong love of Joy the woman he found in his bed.
The RAF and his natural scientific mind gave him the engineering skills to work in communications all his working life. There we find those other great attributes of his; Peter the teacher, Peter the problem solver, Peter the wise advisor to all who needed his help. There was also Peter the family man who was devoted to his daughter Dionne and Janine and all his larger family.
Peter the hard worker who moved so often until eventually they came to Bury and Moreton Hall. Moreover, as we think of Peter it those terms so we realise just how many hundreds who met and worked with him and had cause to say thank you for knowing him. We also can see that there may well be thousands of others, if not hundreds of thousands who have befitted by his getting huge communication projects to work. How many lives have been saved ? And the criminals caught because of him - we will never know. More than that, there was Peter the joker Peter the prankster, and Peter who was always fun to be with.
Yet behind that was the Peter who was devoted to his friends who never let anyone down. The war also the many clubs and societies he was a part of. His love of computers and his willingness to teach others and also that quite ministry in the campers and caravaner’s Christian fellowship
This is Peters Day and if he were to give this talk, I am sure he would want to say how much he owed to his God and saviour Jesus Christ. I have heard him say: “That it was his friendship with Jesus who was his guiding light, in every chance and turn of his eventful life.” It was Jesus Christ’s teaching was the principle in all his decisions big and small. He would want you to know that having found Jesus was best thing that ever happened to him. He would say to those who know Jesus slightly - get to know him better and those who don’t know Jesus - don’t delay in seeking him out. For Peter Jesus was his way his truth and his life.
So, we come to that part of his long and eventful story that I know best. How unexpected unemployment - after years of faithful service - meant he was available to help a young and well-intentioned clergyman to build this church. As churchwarden or home group leader Peter was always there for me and for us. Together with a small band of faithful but hard working people, we built this church. As Peter would say: “God built it we just made sure it didn’t go wrong.” There were so tough times back then when we stood together and won big battles. We think of him here as Peter the church builder, Peter the leader, and Peter the servant of so many.
There are so many many stores we could tell about Peter, and I hope you get a chance to share yours today. Yet all those stories will be good ones about his kindness generosity and helpfulness. I never heard him tell any story with rancour or bitterness.
It is sad to remember his last years were marked by illness and discomfort. It was so hard for all of us but especially his family to care for him in those times, the hardest thing was to see someone so active to be so restricted. Knowing how much he loved travel - holidays and being with others. It was very hard to be so limited in what he could do.
In the last week of his life, which I am sure, I will never forget. I can only stand in awe of his courage and his faith. He knew exactly what was happening, yet was able to be so matter of fact. He was so helpful to me as I visited him. He was going to celebrate his 75 birthday no matter what. just to remind us there was Peter the stubborn fighter too. He would say that courage came from though fact he knew where he was going. He knew a place in heaven was prepared for him and he knew as his friend the one who had gone ahead to prepared it for him - Jesus.
Yet in our most personal moments, he was more concerned with Joy Dionne and Janine than anything else - you see he just could stop loving you right up to the end. So we have come here today to say farewell to man who has touched and helped countless others.
We are sad because someone so special has been taken from us but in the midst of our grief we can say thank you to Jesus for all he has done though Peter and for sharing him with us. We know he has passed from this world into a larger better and more glorious place where we all hope one day to join him. But for now let us rest in the friendship and concern of our family and friends, knowing that Jesus will help us every step of the way
I am the Reverend Canon Jonathan Ford and I have been Minister here since 1990. I am ordained in the Church of England Ministry, married to Jane, and have two daughters Elizabeth who is married to Richard; and Rebeccawho is married to Andrew.