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I/F 1035
Sharpe, Clifford - Funeral Castor Order of Service 4 Jul 2001

Clifford Brian Sharpe Funeral Service and eulogy

The Sentences



LORD of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

Whose trust ever child-like, no cares could destroy,

Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,

Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.


Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,

Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,

Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,

Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.


Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,

Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,

Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,

Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.


Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,

Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,

Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,

Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.


Opening Prayer.


Lesson: Isaiah 25: 8-9, 26: 3-4 – Mr Bruce Wringe of Thorpe Hall


Reading: Death is nothing at all – Mrs Paul Sharpe


Gospel: John 10: 11-16 – Mrs Vera Pell




The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want; he makes me down to lie in pastures green; he leadeth me the quiet waters by. My soul he doth restore again, and me to walk doth make within the paths of righteousness, e’en for his own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale, yet will I fear none ill; for thou art with me, and thy rod and staff me comfort still.
My table thou has furnished in presence of my foes; my head thou dost with oil anoint, and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me; and in God’s house for evermore my dwelling-place shall be.


Priest:   Let us pray

Lord have mercy upon us

All:      Christ have mercy upon us

Priest:   Lord have mercy upon us


Priest:   As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

All:      Our Father, who art in heaven,

            Hallowed be thy name;

            thy kingdom come;

            thy will be done;

            on earth as it is in heaven.

            Give us this day our daily bread.

            And forgive us our trespasses,

            as we forgive those who trespass against us.

            And lead us not in to temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.


Priest:   Rest eternal grant him O Lord,

All:      And let light perpetual shine upon him

Special Prayers:


The Commmendation




We plough the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land, but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand: he sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain, the breezes, and the sunshine, and soft, refreshing rain. All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above; then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, for all his love.  He only is the maker of all things near and far; he paints the wayside flower, he lights the evening star; the winds and waves obey him, by him the birds are fed; much more to us, his children, he gives our daily bread.

We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good, the seed-time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food. Accept the gifts we offer for all thy love imparts, and, what thou most desirest,

our humble thankful hearts.


Priest:   Rest eternal grant him O Lord,

All:      And let light perpetual shine upon him


Priest:   May the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

All:      And rise in Glory Amen


Nunc Dimmittis.

Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:

According to thy word.

For mine eyes hath seen: thy salvation.

Which thou hast prepared: before the face of all people.

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles:

And to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be:

world without end. Amen.

Donations to Thorpe Hall and St Kyneburgha’s Church






Clifford Brian Sharpe

11th February 1933

27th June 2001
























4th July 2001


The Church of

St Kyneburgha of Castor



I have here a letter which Lord Fitzwilliam gave to Brian some years ago, and with the letter is a copy of a grant of land made to William Sharpe and Alice, his wife in Castor in 1351. This fact, I think reminds us of so much about Brian. – that he was a man with deep roots in this village; that his family have farmed here for centuries; that his father was Churchwarden here; that his own son, Paul, is living in the house where Brian was himself born 68 years ago; that he was a traditional country-man, who loved shooting, the life of this village, its people, and the social life of the village pub –it is not a surprise to know that he was at various stages when younger a bell-ringer and a cricketer. Nor is it a surprise to know, that like many farmers of his generation, he was a brilliant craftsman, clever with his hands, able to turn his hand to anything, strip down a tractor and rebuild it, or restore the churchyard wall, as he did with Bernard Freeman. He was an outside man, practical, he enjoyed his farming, his gardening his pots and hard work.

When he left school, he became an apprentice mechanic, but by the time he was 20 he was farming with his father Len Sharpe. And he was a good farmer, as the trophies and awards on the Kyneswitha Altar can show- prizes for his malting barley. By this time he had met and married Chris, he was farming with his father, and here were born in 1961, son Paul, and in 1973 daughter Liz.

Life was not always easy for Brian. His mother died while he was young, and he was lucky, as a mischievous boy, with a lively sense of humour, to have two loving sisters, Vera and Barbara to look after him as a child. And there is a sense in which he was always doing things for other people rather than for himself. Because he would drop anything to help out. Brian did not wear his heart or his faith on his sleeve; he showed his affection in a gruff cheerful country way by doing things for people. But he had many good friends and many connections in the village; people like Jim Wood and Gladdy with whom he shared farming interest; and by coincidence Gladdy’s son Richard now works with Paul.

In one of our readings we heard about wiping away tears from all faces. About 13 years ago, Brian embarked a new phase in his life, and cheering up those who were ill was to an important part of it. He started work at Thorpe Hall during its refurbishment as a Sue Ryder Hospice, and after its completion, he was invited to stay on – originally as the maintenance man, but from my visits there, and listening to others, there seemed to be nothing he did not do. The work at Thorpe hall was important to him, and deeply satisfying for him. Quite simply he loved it there. He was the only person interviewed by Lady Ryder, and he met there Princess Diana, and the D of Gloucester.

Call me by my old familiar name we heard in Mandy’s reading; he had so many, but one was Linnet because of his whistling. As one person wrote he gave the place life, with his whistling and his cheerful greeting with time to talk with anybody. And the way he went about his work was attractive because it was unselfconscious, that’s just the way he was. The Deputy Matron wrote “irreplaceable, wonderful, special friend Brain”. Someone else wrote, that he made people smile with his cheeriness, his chatter, his whistling and his warm heart- and also of course the cap. Someone else wrote that he will be remembered with fondness, good with the banter, a lovely man, he’ll make some angel. Because in his own way he was a sort of angel, with a very earthy humanity too. Hospices like Thorpe Hall are demanding places in which to work. Brian having been in the first part of his life a shepherd of sheep, was now helping others care for people, a different sort of pastoring.

But now of course we are commending him in his turn to the loving care of another shepherd. We are rightly sad; sad at the end of the life of that good, decent straightforward man, and shocked at its suddenness. For this our hearts go out to Chris, Paul, Liz, Vera and Barbara, and Samantha, for Brian was also a loving and doting Grandfather. But while sad, we are not without hope. As someone wrote: “he’s made it over the finishing line”, but this is not the end of him. We commend Brian today to the care of the Good Shepherd, who loves us all, who knows us, even if we do not know him, and who, in accepting us, redeems us with all our faults and our humanity – for we after all are the works of his hand as much as the rest of the world. The same Lord Jesus who actively searches for sheep that are lost and will gather us all into his flock in our turn. Today, as we say goodbye we entrust Brian to the care of the Good Shepherd, and his family in our prayers to his love and comfort.


Brian; may you rest in peace – Amen