PAM CUMMINGS

FUNERAL SERVICE

Pamela Margaret Cummings

15th April 1940 – 12th September 2020





YOUNG PAM  

Friday 9th October 2020

At 1.00 p.m

at Rowley Regis Crematorium.

Service conducted by

Reverend Peter Brown


ORDER OF SERVICE

Intro:  ‘O My beloved Father‘– Puccini

Welcome and introduction to the service

HYMN

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,

The holy One, is here;

Come bow before him now

With reverence and fear

In him no sin is found

We stand on holy ground.

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,

The holy One, is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord

Is shining all around;

He burns with holy fire,

With splendour he is crowned:

How awesome is the sight

Our radiant king of light!

Be still, for the glory of the Lord

Is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord

Is moving in this place:

He comes to cleanse and heal,

To minister his grace -

No work too hard for him.

In faith receive from him.

Be still, for the power of the Lord

Is moving in this place.

 

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

 

Bible Reading: -   Isaiah Ch 46 v 3 – 4, Read by Jenny

 

Poem:  ‘My Mum’ written and read by Alison for a Mothers’ Day Service

 

Memories of Pam - Eileen Adams

 

HYMN

 

My Jesus, my Saviour

Lord there is none like you

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath, all that I am

Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down and the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of your hands

Forever I'll love you, forever I'll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have

In You

 

Bible reading: - John Ch. 14, v. 1 – 6, 27

Address – Reverend Peter Brown

 

HYMN  

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy Hand hath made

I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When through the woods and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze

 

Then sings my soul .....

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul .....

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then shall I bow in humble adoration

And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul .....

 

 

The Blessing

Exit music - ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’

DANNY'S PICTURE

Alan, Andy, Alison and Joanna extend their sincere thanks and love 

to all family and friends for their prayers, messages, kind thoughts and support.

Any donations will be forwarded to The Mary Stevens Hospice in memory of Pam.


cake words


PAM WITH CAKE

cake words 2

Quotes from ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’

– by Charlie Mackesy

************************************************************

The following is the tribute which mostly the family prepared and I (Eileen Adams) was privileged to read and share with the congregation at Pam's funeral. I hope it does justice to a very special  lady -wife, mum, gran and friend to many..

PAM CUMMINGS

 

Pamela Margaret was born to Dorothy and Thomas Wright on April 15th 1940. On her birth certificate it says she was born at EYNESHAM HALL, OXFORDSHIRE. While that sounds very posh her family is fairly sure that Dorothy had been evacuated from London for her confinement and soon mum and baby Pamela returned to their home in north London.

 

One night Dorothy took baby Pam from her cot and went downstairs to change her while an air raid was in progress. Later, when she returned to her bedroom a large piece of masonry was found in the middle of the baby’s cot! So again, mother and daughter left London to seek safety on a farm in a small village in Hertfordshire where they found an added bonus of more food! That bounty would follow them when they eventually returned to the city.

 

Soon the Wright family was re-absorbed into its community and into their church at Archway Central Hall in and that’s where Alan Cummings joins this narrative – though it has to be said that at 3 years old neither was much interested in the other!

 

After school Pam trained at Pitman’s College and became proficient in both shorthand and typing  - skills which would serve her (and her church) very well in the future.

 

So Pam and Alan grew alongside one another – with Sunday School, Brigades and Youth group a large part of their lives. They never really got together as a couple until they went to a friend’s 21st birthday party in Sept 1961 and Alan dared to ask her out! He remembers their first date being a boat trip on the Thames but gets a bit vague after that as he can’t remember where they went. So we can only assume he was blinded by love!

 

Just 8 months later the young couple went to ask Pam’s dad for permission to get married. He was engrossed in the results of a bi-election and they struggled to get his attention! When they finally got their message over he agreed and Alan believes that being an officer in the BB swung the decision in his favour!

 

August 17th 1963 was their wedding day – 57 years ago – and they set up home in Stanmore, Middlesex. Pam worked as a secretary until 1966 when Andy was born. Two years later they welcomed their daughter Alison and 4 years after that Joanna completed their family. Almost immediately ALAN LEFT! That’s not as awful as it sounds as he was due to begin a 2 year teacher training course in Birmingham (a place full of smoke according to Pam’s dad!).  Pam looked after her very young family until they could join Alan in Harborne. Of course they found a new church and there met new folk who have remained good friends ever since and some of whom here today

 

 

Their next – and final – move was to their present home in Portsdown Road, Halesowen in 1975 and that’s when they became part of the family that is Hasbury Methodist Church. We were all fairly “new” to the church and our minister and his wife organised a “Safari supper” to help folk get to know one another. Six people met at one house for their first course, split up and went to another house for their main course and having formed a final group went to house number three for dessert. So Roger and I found ourselves at Portsdown Road with Ron and Joan Mosely for our dessert. We didn’t know Pam and Alan very well and weren’t sure what we’d find to talk about. The table was set with a pristine white table cloth and Pam came in proudly bearing a cheesecake with something red and sticky on the top. The ice was completely broken when she upended it on to her beautiful cloth! Amid much laughter it was salvaged – and eaten! I’m pretty sure that was Pam’s only cooking disaster because we’ll certainly miss her cakes!

 

When Pam was diagnosed with a terminal illness she faced up to it with dignity and determination. The time came a few short weeks ago when she moved into Mary Stevens Hospice. She was asked how she was feeling and her response was “Peaceful” and “Comfortable.”  PC -  Pam Cummings - Peaceful and Comfortable.

 

As I talked with the family about what to say today lots of other P’s and C’s emerged.

Top of the list of “C’s” was of course

CHRISTIAN. Pam’s faith underpinned everything she did, sustained her throughout her life – right to the very end – and COMMITTED her to service. She has served her Lord so well (and I hope this is a comprehensive list )…

As  secretary to church council , Jun church , Save the Children fund- raising group. She’d organise the annual house to house collection for SCF, another for Methodist Homes at Christmas when everyone gave donations instead of Christmas cards (and she did that right up until last year). She worked tirelessly for Action for Children. She was a dependable, committed volunteer. If Pam said she’d do something you knew she would. She was also very involved with “Open Door” at Hasbury – often in the kitchen or selling books to raise money for Methodist Homes.

 

CAMPING featured large in the Cummings family life. Their first visit (the first of many) to a farm at Withypool in Devon was in 1969 and they returned to the area 2 years ago. The family has another visit planned for next August which Pam, during her last week, insisted they still take.  

 

 

 

Their camping would benefit folk at church too. One Sunday morning found our youth leaders (OK it was MY idea) taking the youngsters to Clent to watch the sun rise. Pam and Alan offered to bring their camping stove to the car park to make us all bacon sarnies after seeing this wonderful spectacle. The bacon butties were a real success (which made up for the fact that we DIDN’T see the sun rise probably because Clent faces WEST!

 

CARE  and COMPASSION has always been a part of Pam and Alan’s life. They’ve opened their home to people who needed a bed for the night and looked out for people who were on their own. Their CARAVAN has also been a haven for people who just needed a break and time to relax. They also gave wonderful support to Roger and myself when we fostered a young boy who had no parents, no home and serious behaviour problems. They took him to their caravan and taught him to catch crabs and took him away on a circuit weekend so we could have a break. Together with John  & Sylvia they supported us through a very turbulent time.

 

So , lots of “C’s” but what about “P’s”?

 

PASTIMES were very varied for Pam. She loved to cook, as I’ve already said, and was passionate about gardening. She also liked to knit and to sew but I never knew she could make ducks! So this “P” is for

 

PRODUCTION LINE! Pam would sew those ducks, Alan’s job was to stuff them, Ali I think pushed in bell and sewed up the hole, then Pam added the eyes and Anna the labels! They lost count of how many hundreds of those they made!

 

A year into her illness Pam began to attend the Day Unit at MSH where I volunteer as a  chaplain. Each day we hold Midday PRAYERS and Pam joined us every week for our short service. She was much loved by other patients, volunteers and staff. Pam brought something very special to those services  - the gift of PEACE.  For us all half an hour of  PRAYERS and PEACE.

 

When lockdown threw us all into a new “normal” routine earlier this year the Day Unit had to close but our wonderful chaplain, Keith Judson, wrote a Midday Prayers Service and, with lots of other beautiful literature made sure that every day patient received a copy. I know that Pam and Alan have been richly blessed by that service, have read it together every day ( and I also know that Alan was actually reading it to Pam when she finally died.)

 

Alan has also paid tribute to the care that they both received when Pam went into the In-Patient unit at the hospice and the family was particularly grateful to Keith for sharing COMMUNION with them. Wonderful.

 

The last “P” is mine. It’s PRIVILEGE” I feel very privileged to have been asked to share these thoughts by Alan and his family. But I was also very privileged to call Pam my friend and to spend those Mondays with her at the hospice.

 

There’s’ one more letter I want to share with you today. Pam’s middle name was Margaret. “M”  -  M is for mother and you’ve already heard the tribute which Ali wrote and read for her mum . When Pam went into the hospice she took with her two framed photos. Photos of her

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – her three children, ANDY, ALI and ANNA plus her four grandchildren MATT, JENNY, DANNY and THOMAS.

Family meant so much to Pam – and we mustn’t forget the rest of her team Alan,  daughter-in –law Josie and sons-in-law Tim and Tony.

On the Saturday that Pam was in the hospice a letter arrived from her son and his family in Spain. Alan was able to take it to Pam. Along with the Midday Prayer service it would have been one of the last things that Pam looked at.

 

Today’s service was Pam’s – she chose the hymns and the music. As we leave today you’ll hear “Over the Rainbow” a song she  loved because her mother told her it was being played on the radio when Pam was born. And in those last few days of Pam’s life she received that letter from Spain and in it Danny had sent his grandma a picture of – A RAINBOW.

 

Have no doubt, any of you, that you were  - you ARE – her pride and her joy.

She loved you all so, so much and that love remains and always will.

 

I have one last  “M” for you

MARRIAGE. 57 years with Alan, her Alan. I think the time when she wasn’t much interested in him disappeared a long time ago.

 

Know, Alan that you were her rock. She was never just Pam or you just Alan. You were always Pam and Alan.

I read recently that when people have suffered  - as Pam did – they become stronger and when they finally die they are PERFECT and COMPLETE. And that’s your Pam, your PC  -

PEACEFUL,

COMFORTABLE,

PERFECT AND

COMPLETE.