THE Revd Graham Coles, incumbent of St Mary’s, Cubbington, in Warwickshire, since Easter Day 2012, was loved for his humble, kind, hard-working, and loving ministry and compassion to his parish. Nothing was ever too much trouble. Whatever time, day or night, he would readily minister to the sick or dying, a ministry he counted as a privilege.
Graham took an early interest in church life, worshipping with his family at St Margaret’s, Wolston, in Coventry. He and Sam were married in 1983 at St Bartholomew’s, Coventry. Keen to grow in his faith, Graham pursued Christian studies, and felt God calling him to the priesthood. Joining Cursillo intensified his faith, and he made strong friendships with all those who encouraged him to follow his calling.
Graham had worked as a gas engineer, eventually running his own business to provide for his wife and their four children. In around 2003, he finally decided that he could no longer ignore God’s calling, and began the vocations process.
After training at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, he was ordained deacon in Coventry Cathedral in 2009. He served his title at St Mary Magdalene’s, Lillington, and Old Milverton, under the Revd Charlotte Gale, and, from there, he took up post as Priest-in-Charge of Cubbington in 2012, becoming Vicar two years later.
His ministry at Cubbington included being a governor of the primary school, and a Cubbington Parish Councillor; he excelled at working for the good of the local community. His work, and legacy, included securing extra burial space in the churchyard in the glebe land, and, after many years’ planning, the completion of the Parish Room that adjoins the church.
Graham had been diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2001, and suffered intermittently for more than 20 years. He managed his illness privately, with huge dignity, undoubtedly helped by his unwavering faith in God. Surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London, last January, eventually rendered him unable to speak or eat, affecting most profoundly his ability to receive communion.
He died, peacefully, at home, with Sam by his side, on 4 February, aged 61. He leaves Sam and their children, Tom, George, Charlie, and Sophie, their spouses, Lauren, Mitchell, Faye, and Harry, and a grandchild, Cohen. May he rest in peace after a life of service to the Lord.