1 June 2022

“On Wednesday 25th May we learned the desperately saddening news that Paul Cloke, a Trustee for YMCA Exeter, had died following a heart attack. Paul was an amazing Man of God, who put his all into his Trusteeship at both YMCA Exeter and St. Petrock’s. Before becoming a Trustee, Paul was greatly involved in volunteering with the young people within our YMCA, particularly utilising his excellent gifts in music and songwriting (have a search on your music streaming provider for YMCA Exeter and you’ll find some examples!)

We will massively miss everything that Paul Cloke was. I was fortunate enough to have known Paul for some time and he was a great friend. When I say that, I mean that he was a great friend. He excelled at it, along with his many, many other gifts.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family, particularly his wife Viv and children Will and Liz.

In dealing with my own grief of losing Paul, I took some time to reflect on all that I will miss about him. There are so many things that I saw in Paul that I admired and was inspired by.

He was the kind of person who would worship Jesus with an abandon, whether he was leading the worship or not.

He was the kind of person that you’d seek out to ask his advice because you knew he’d tell you the truth, but he’d do it with gentleness and love.

He was always the person you’d ask to finish the meeting with prayer! He had a real, joyful relationship with Jesus. I will dearly miss all those things.

It’s right to mourn the loss of those things whilst Paul is gone; but I am left with the challenge to ensure that I develop those attributes in my life, so that they remain in this world. Paul continues to inspire me to be that “kind of person”.

It was the Spirit of Jesus, living in Paul and shining-out-through-him that made Paul the incredible chap that I admired. Paul therefore leaves me with a compulsion to continue to allow Jesus to mould me to be more like Him.

If we all rise to this challenge, then Paul’s impact in this world will not reduce but increase. This after all is the plan that Jesus has for us all”.

-Si Johns, Joint CEO