It is with great sadness that I report that Colin Buckland passed away peacefully on the morning of 22nd December having eventually succumbed to a rare and incurable cancer. The celebration of his life was held on January 4th 2013 at St Paul’s Church, Letchworth Garden City, England. We are so grateful for the many messages of condolence and encouragement and the support of so many friends and colleagues from the UK and overseas who came to be with us on that day.
The family wishes to thank all of you who so kindly contributed to the fund for Colin’s treatment in the United States. The pre-treatment investigations had begun but Colin‘s condition deteriorated quickly in the last weeks and he was unable to travel. The remainder of the fund will be donated to the hospice which provided such excellent, caring support.
Colin was the founder and Chief Executive of Claybury International which he formally established with his wife, Lorna, in the early 1990s although the work had begun informally over 35 years ago. As a policeman Colin went to the University of Life before training for the ministry at Spurgeons College. After which he became a Baptist minister in London and served as a pastor for 22 years, including 13 years in the inner-city.
After God and his family, Colin’s passion was that Christian leaders, serving in churches or other organisations, should be released to fulfil their Kingdom potential by living out Christ-centred servant-leadership as modelled by Jesus. Colin gave himself sacrificially serving Christian leaders to this end. He travelled the globe, making a difference to many people for the Kingdom of God. Colin knew that there is no higher calling than to be a son or daughter of God and serving Him for His glory.
Colin’s funeral service was as remarkable as his life as demonstrated by the number of friends and colleagues who wished to pay tribute to him. Here are some snippets:
“Colin had a grand image of God, and a genuine sense of himself and others in that light. Colin often said, “I am a child of the King: I couldn’t have a higher position than that.” With this perspective, he gave his life away. He wasn’t wealthy by a long shot, but his rich legacy is in the people he touched. We are changed because of our brush with this special man.”
“Colin was a man who touched the world for God, a man who made a difference. I learned so much from him, not least in this last year of his earthly life. The certainty of his faith was astounding as he committed himself to whatever path God might choose. Sure there were bad days, but the assuredness of his commitment to God, and God’s eternal plan and care for him, brought glory to God.”
“I thank God for those moments in my life which I could spend with Colin. We did not meet very often, and never for long, but God has almost always used Colin to communicate deep messages to me. Colin inspired my passion for servant leadership. He encouraged me when I struggled in my job. He mentored me as a student, and he promoted me as a teacher of servant leadership. I thank God for Colin and for the marks he has left in my life.”
“Perhaps the biggest contribution he made was helping me face the fear of taking that last step of faith in starting our ministry. We didn’t know what God had in store and we were hesitant to step out. It was Colin’s encouragement, admonition and support that helped us finally take it. Personally, we’ll miss the laughter and joy, the inspired silliness and simply the love of life we shared whenever we had the opportunity to connect. “
We knew you might leave us
but never thought so soon -
believed in your healing so much,
we failed to say goodbye
So thankful for all you shared.
We saw God’s servant heart in you.
So grateful we found you,
even though the time was short
In a world of clanging cymbals,
God anointed you to lead
and you led with integrity
and humble conviction.
Your deepest hope
was huge, yet simple:
to change the world.
And so you did.
You were one-of-a-kind.
We’re better people because of you.
The world has lost a bright light.
I guess Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.”
It is good to know with certainty that in Christ, through His sacrifice and the shedding of His blood, Colin now enjoys His glorious company for eternity. A glory that those of us who are in Christ will one day share again with Colin.
At Colin’s request the only floral tribute at his funeral was from the family. If you would like to make your own tribute to Colin you can do so by supporting the work of Claybury International through a donation here.
Friends who were not able to attend the celebration of Colin’s life and the committal can listen to a recording of the service here. You can also download the file by “right-clicking” on the link and selecting the “Save Link As” option. (The exact wording differs in various browsers) The mp3 file is 55MB.
If you have come directly to this point for the recording please feel free to scroll up to read the tribute to Colin.