Alec Shortley

It is not often one can say that it was a priviledge to go to a funeral but this is one such occasion.

Alec was a Deacon and Treasurer at the first Baptist Church I attended. My time at Kenilworth Baptist Church continues to have an enormous influence on me; it was there I first felt called to ministry and it was through the Minister (Graham Pestridge) that I came to understand what this might mean.

Alec was a man of wisdom, kindness and compassion. I didn't realise it then, but looking back I see more clearly how he was someone with real grace who handled tensions in church life with sure, gentle and peaceable trust in God. He also played the organ and contributed to the worship life of the church.

Along with his wife Kath he was involved with Tearcraft and Fairtrade goods long before it became fashionable; working tirelessly to make them available to local people and through the sale of jute based products enabled some of the poorest people to have an income.

And through all this he worked with computing and electronics. It was not until his funeral this week that I realised quite how influential his work was, helping the company win the Queens award for Technology in honour of their work with electronic mapping (the forerunner of satnav).

Alec is one of the unsung hero's of the faith. In an age of celebrity he was never one to draw attention to himself. A man of virtue he quietly got on with serving his Lord. He was a living example of Micah 6:8, acting with justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with his God.

His death seems to us, before its time. He will be missed.

"From Him we come, In Him we are enfolded, to Him we return."

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