21st June 1925 – 19th April 2007
It is with a sense of loss that we record the homecall of our brother Denis Clapham. For almost thirty years he was closely associated with the work of Precious Seed both as a valuable member of the committee, and for twelve years, as joint editor.
Denis was born in Essex, but lived for over sixty years in the Birmingham area. He was saved when only six years old and baptized ten years later. At the age of fourteen he was sent to Leicestershire as an evacuee at the outbreak of the Second World War, before returning to commence a course in architecture at Birmingham College of Art. These studies were interrupted however when, at eighteen years of age, he was called up for National Service and joined the Royal Engineers, serving not only at home but also in India and Malaya. On his return to Birmingham he worked in the building materials and design industry. In those early years, often in difficult circumstances, Denis proved God and His word for himself in a very real way. Throughout his life he had a great desire to share his experiences with others.
He will best be remembered for his faithful and encouraging work among the Lord’s people; first in the assemblies at Charlton Road, Kingstanding, and at Hope Chapel in Moseley; then latterly at York Street Gospel Hall in Leicester following a move in 1990. Denis loved the gospel; he was an able preacher and a sound expositor of the scriptures. His public ministry was much appreciated in a wide sphere over a number of years. For many, however, it will be the personal touches which leave a lasting memory. Denis radiated kindness. There was warmth in his handshake, a smile in his eyes and often a chuckle in his voice. Many times, having listened to others teaching the scriptures, he would pass on quiet words of wisdom, perceptive comment and sound advice. He loved to encourage young believers and it meant much to him to see them making progress. Many a young man’s library has been enhanced by Denis’ generosity. Others, brethren and sisters alike, in times of anxiety, distress and sorrow, have received spiritual help and expressions of loving, genuine concern, either in the home or in that distinctive handwriting.
His work with Precious Seed saw the continuation and development of the magazine over twenty-eight years. He joined in editorial work for twelve years with Cyril Hocking, John Heading and Arthur Shearman. During this time also the well received Day by Day publications commenced, to encourage the daily reading of scripture.
The affection in which our brother was held was well expressed by the large number who attended the funeral. A fitting tribute was given by David West, based upon the words of Nehemiah chapter 7 verse 2, ‘he was a faithful man, and feared God above many’. John Salisbury then spoke, giving an appropriate and warm-hearted address of comfort and assurance, together with the challenge of the gospel in view of neighbours and friends who attended.
Our brother Denis Clapham was a man who walked with God, and that fellowship was clearly seen in his whole manner of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family to whom Denis was so deeply devoted; his dear wife Betty, together with Joy and Tim, daughter-in-law Ruth and the two grandchildren. We thank God for a race well run, a course completed, the faith kept and a crown of righteousness gained.