Julian Peter Francis Cummins 1955-2007

Julian Cummins was my best man as I had been his.  He was godfather to my son Tom and I am godfather to his daughter Olivia.  Most importantly we were best friends since we first met - together with our wives - at Cambridge University in 1973. So his sudden death at the age of 52 has been a terrible shock.

Martin Wainwight's obituary in the Guardian only gives the faintest flavour of what a remarkable person he was. A phenomenally successful businessman, holder of the Territorial Decoration and an honorary colonel, occasional lecturer at Bradford Business School, non-stipendiary priest, he had poured energy, determination, strategic vision and kindness into all of them. 

After suffering a really serious brain haemorrhage had come back more energetic than ever. His funeral yesterday in Leeds Parish Church was attended by hundreds of mourners including the Lord Mayor of Leeds, many MPs, and a phalanx of church hierarchy. 

They all recognised that Julian was an example of total generosity and selflessness in politics and in all his other activities - more often a gallant loser than a winner because he chose the hard path, but leaving a huge mark wherever he chose to engage.

And he was great fun. I read John Donne's great prayer: Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house where shall be no darkness not dazzling, but one equal light; no noise or silence but one equal music; no fears nor hopes but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen

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