Funeral Flowers

Charles 5 Comments



Posted by Richard Rawlinson

Paul Flowers was a successful man: chairman of Co-operative Bank, Labour councillor and Methodist minister. He’s now shunned by all three pillars of the establishment—business, politics and church—after his penchant for taking crystal meth with male prostitutes hit the headlines.

When Flowers first hooked up with Manchester Lads escort Ciaron Dodd, he took him to see the play, You Can’t Take It With You, at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre. This was, of course, followed by sex and drugs back at the hotel.

You can’t take it with you. This is certainly true of a fat cat salary. But you can spend your earnings in plenty of ways that don’t stop you taking your reputation with you.

We’ve all met characters like Flowers: high-achievers and do-gooders who also live dangerously by indulging their less reputable side; risk-takers who want to have their cake and eat it.

We often feel some satisfaction when such human juggernauts are stopped in their tracks, when those made ebullient by deference to their status are brought down to earth when they’re given a dose of humble pie after their flaws are exposed.

Flowers may become a better man as a result of his downfall. He’s deemed a useless banker due to his involvement in the Co-operative Bank, whose massive debts may yet result in the selling of Co-operative Funeralcare. He’s also deemed a hypocritical sleazeball due to private decadence in relation to his socio-political and religious roles in the community.

How would a funeral celebrant deal with such a eulogy challenge?


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Ru Callender
10 years ago

I for one Richard would relish the chance to do a eulogy of this sort. While the Rev Flowers’ fall from grace has been public and lurid, we all have a shadow of some sorts, and a funeral service is the place to bring it, just as much as it is to highlight his good points. The challenge would be to air it, but not allow it to completely overshadow his life. Maybe it will. We will see.

10 years ago

I’m sure you’d succeed in showing Flowers some love, Rupert. Inept banker and randy rogue who, despite his lust for cash, coke and c**k, had his redeeming features. He cared about his community, perhaps, and perhaps presented himself to his God as a humble sinner…. This approach is better than a secular funeral that whitewashes all flaws or a religious funeral insisting instant elevation to heaven. Methodists don’t believe in Purgatory but the parable of the Prodigal Son is universal: fortitude leading to purification, repentance leading to forgiveness… But let’s keep the naughty Rev. blushing in the doghouse for a… Read more »

James Convery
10 years ago

Like Ru, I would rise to the challenge of being the Celebrant at Flowers Funeral by including barely veiled satirical innuendo as to his pharmaceutical, sexual and hypocritically religious proclivities. Harsh? Not at all – I wouild make him seem balanced, with a chip on each shoulder – he should be the beacon to ward others of pretending to have their lives ruled by a bronze age work of fiction. He will die like us all and soon be forgotten. Cheer up Paul, its not the end of the world! Wait a minute, perhaps it is for you. Cash, Coke… Read more »

10 years ago

Flowers is not just under fire for banging the night away, he’s under fire for snoozing on the job after banging the night away. What 60something could chair a bank while coming down from a drug high after staying up way beyond bedtime with 20something rent boys? Do the crime, do the time. However, we should reiterate that the Randy Rev. is, happily, alive and I hope he’s taking the beating in his stride, and learning from his mistakes. His gift to tabloid scandalistas has got me thinking about the nature of real funerals for those who died with their… Read more »

10 years ago

I’m with Ru on this one. I never shirk from sharing the faults as well as the high points of a life. Any life lived fully will have light and shade…..some more than others and death is no different from life. The truth, delivered in a suitable way for the occasion – with balance – is always the best policy. I would relish the opportunity too ….a bit of meat to get stuck into. I sometimes get tired of talking about angels.