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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Mary Pells Cocks Thanksgiving Service

Service of Thanksgiving
Led by Pastor Peter Thatcher
Scriptures read whilst walking into the Chapel
John 11:25-26
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whosoever lives and believes in me will never die."
Romans 14:8-9
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the living and the dead.
Job 19:25-27
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes - I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake. 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. 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 shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Welcome and Introduction
Mary always said that she did not expect anybody to turn up to her funeral because she had absolute certainty that she would not be there. I would like to repeat that at the very beginning. Mary is not here she is in a far better place. Her prayers have been answered and her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has called her into the very presence of God the Father where she has received her crown of glory and commendation from God. “Welcome good and faithful servant.”
I also have a welcome for you. It was Mary’s desire that on the day when her body is committed to the ground that we her family and friends gather to worship God together. She always said that God created both the crows and the nightingales. He is not interested in the beauty of the voice but in praise which comes from the heart. He said make a joyful noise to the Lord not necessarily a tuneful one. We are called by Mary now to join together in praise of her Saviour.

Hymn: “Through the Love of God….”
A Loving Remembrance from Mary’s family
by Mary’s nieces Ruth & Anthea
Scripture Reading by Mary’s son, David:
(2 Corinthians chapters 4 & 5)
Prayer , led by Dr. Meirion Evans
Pastor’s address,
with a Loving Remembrance from the Church

Mary Pells Cocks 24th August 1915-20th July 2010

I am under strict instructions here (not by the family) but by Mary herself. I must not exalt her but must give all of the glory to Jesus. That of course is easily done with a person who had the faith that Mary did.

For the last few years Mary has had one desire and that was to go home to be with her Lord. That prayer and desire has been answered and with absolute certainty we can say that Mary is now absent from the body and present with the Lord. She could not wait for the day of fulfilment but she also knew the reality of one of her favourite bible verses from Psalm 31 “my times are in your hands!”

We have heard a family tribute and now it is my great privilege to say a few words on behalf of the church here at Ogmore-by-Sea. What do we say about Mary? There is so much!

Take a moment out and just look around you, you will see a building. Mary and her husband Denis moved into the Hamlet of Ogmore-by-Sea and turned it into a village. A hamlet becomes a village when it has a church. Mary and Denis and their children Jane and David moved into the hamlet and soon discovered a lack of something most dear to them. The church! The way it all happened was really quite remarkable and time does not allow us to tell the full story. It all began with them starting a Sunday school on their first Sunday in the village. This consisted of Jane, David and one other child in their house. Soon numbers required a move from the house into the garage and then came the development of a Sunday service and the church was born. It was then that Ogmore-by-Sea became a village. In 1967 this building was opened for the church to meet in. We are grateful to Mary and Denis for our building every time we come here especially on cold wet and windy days. The Lord put the burden on their hearts and they were faithful to Him and now we benefit from that faithfulness.

But it is more than that, they also constituted the church. That means that they laid down the rules of the church, the foundation being the bible alone. Mary and Denis trusted the bible to be God’s inspired word and that it is the rule book of the church. And so we have the bible at the forefront of all that we do, thanks to Mary.

Another glance around and you will see a plaque, a memorial to Mary’s beloved husband Denis who with Mary had such a vision and desire. I never met Denis but Mary assured me that I would have got on very well with him. I can go to the farthest reaches of the land and when asked where I come from, I have now stopped saying that you will not have heard of it because it seems that there is always somebody who knew Mary and Denis. That is testimony to their faithfulness in the church of Jesus Christ. In this we have a reminder to be faithful as Christians.

It was not all theological issues, look at the curtains and the kitchen, Mary wanted to see the building maintained and from the sale of Cornerways she gave us the funds to improve our building. To Mary faith was also to be demonstrated by action. These are tremendous lessons that she taught us, having discovered them for herself from the bible that she so loved.

There is one final thing that we see as we look around and that is the church who are the people who come here week by week to worship Jesus. We are in a small way Mary and Denis’ legacy. Some people leave money as their legacy, I am proud to be part of Mary’s legacy which is a people for whom the highest price possible has been paid. God paid for our redemption, the cost being the sacrificial death of His only begotten Son. That is a legacy beyond compare.

There are many anecdotes that we could recount but Mary had such a large personality that it would take many hours to recount even half of the stories. I am sure that over refreshments at the end of the service you will be able to chat about them. The one thing that always amazed me about Mary was what somebody recently described as a wicked sense of humour. If you saw the tell tale twinkle in her eye then you knew that trouble was afoot!

Despite what we said at the beginning about Mary looking forward to the day when the Lord would take her she did love life and she lived it to the full, taking every opportunity to tell others about Jesus. She was forthright and could be quite abrupt which sometimes rubbed people up the wrong way. She was impatient with slowness of heart and sloppiness. She was upright in the home, the church and also in heart. Her righteousness came from Christ alone; she was thoroughly Christian.

She had one last and final request and that is that I on her behalf tell you about her Jesus: We read these words earlier “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ and receive what is due to us.” For Mary it was a welcome into heaven and that was because the offence of her sin had been dealt with when she trusted in Jesus for salvation. Mary wants me to tell all of you gathered here that heaven depends upon faith in Jesus. Her final word is an invitation. Mary wants you all one day to join her where she is. How can you do that? You must recognise that you also have sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard. Call on the name of the Lord and trust in Jesus who died bearing the sin of all who repent. Mary said do not come to my funeral which will take place at 2:00 because she will not be there but she does invite you to be where she is on the day of your funeral. Why not be like Mary and Denis and all other Christians and trust in Jesus for yourself and then like Mary you will have absolute certainty of going to heaven.

Personally I can say that Mary was always a great encouragement to me and one of my greatest supporters. For this I am eternally grateful.

Mary of course has a family all of whom are rejoicing at the certainty of her homecoming but that does not take away the sadness and the grief. On behalf of the church gathered here in Ogmore-by-Sea I offer our sincere condolences to David and Helen, Elizabeth and Vincent and their 4 children in Northern Ireland; to Alison and Simon and their 2 girls and to Sharon and Mark. We also must remember the extended family and close friends. You will all miss Mary greatly. You do not get over the loss of a loved one but time does make it more bearable.

As a church our prayers are with you and I urge all praying people to uphold this family in your prayers.

May God bless you all.

Hymn: “Saviour, Again to Thy dear Name…”
Prayer and Benediction

Hymns for Pianist from ‘Complete Mission Praise’ with melodies suggested by Mary.

166: Give me a Sight, O Saviour
167: Give Thanks
168: God Holds the Key
169: Hark, My Soul!
170: He is Exalted
171: Here From the World
172: His Hands were Pierced
173: His Name is Wonderful
174: I know That My Redeemer Lives!
175: Lord, For the Years
176: Rejoice, The Lord is King!
177: Safe in the Shadow
178: Sweet is the Work ( tune: Deep Harmony)
179: There is a Redeemer
180: Thine Be the Glory
181: What a Friend (tune: Calon Lan)
182: The Lord’s My Shepherd
And I will Trust in You alone.

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