Bikers to turn out for Motorcycle Funerals rev's last ride (2024)

A motorbike-loving minister who offered comfort and support to the grieving friends and loved ones of departed bikers through his unique funeral service is set to have the honour returned.

The Reverend Paul Sinclair and his pioneering Motorcycle Funerals company have provided fitting, individually-tailored send-offs to thousands of people from the biker community in the last two decades.

The Pentecostal minister, who left his native Glasgow to make his home and reputation in Leicestershire, died on April 3 following a short illness, aged 53.

Not, however, before realising his dream of pioneering his unique business idea in the UK’s funeral service sector.

From the seed of an idea cultivated in his bedroom in Whitwick back in 2001, the charismatic clergyman ended up commanding a fleet of bikes and sidecar hearses from his Measham workshop.

Bikers to turn out for Motorcycle Funerals rev's last ride (1)

In doing so, Rev Sinclair created a national phenomenon – handling funeral services for motorcycles enthusiasts from as far a field as Scotland, Kent, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Now police are expecting a large number of the biking community to descend on Measham next month to ride out with Rev Sinclair's hearse to nearby Heather, where his own funeral will be held.

“Paul said he wanted to be the Starbucks of the funeral business, rather tongue in cheek, but that’s exactly what he achieved,” said Lucy Coulbert, his first motorcycle hearse rider and friend of 15 years.

“He always said that if he were to die, being a biker himself, the last thing he would want is his coffin being carried in a car to his funeral.

“The biking community is very passionate and that was his idea – motorcycle hearses – and it was brilliant. Paul preached God and motorcycles.”

Her Independent Funeral Company, based in Oxford and inspired by her friend and former boss, is now organising his funeral.

“I was the first person he employed as a rider in 2006. You couldn’t fail to be inspired by him – I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

“I’m a biker myself and first got in touch with him after seeing a Motorcycle Funerals post card.

“I thought ‘That’s amazing!”.

“I first asked him about setting up a franchise but he said ‘No, come and work with me and we’ll see if you’re any good’.

“That’s how he was – a typical Scot - but it’s the best thing I ever did.”

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She added: “I got to travel the country and worked on some of the most amazing funerals.

“He taught me how to run a small company and, more importantly, how to treat people.

“For him, it was never about the money. He wanted to make sure he honoured the person whose funeral it was, and make it was absolutely right for their friends, family and loved ones.

“Of course, because of the size of the sidecar hearses, he also handled the funerals of many children.

“They were particularly sad and had to be done just right, and that’s what Paul did.”

Rev Sinclair leaves behind wife Marian and his two parents.

Tributes have flooded in for the speed-loving minister who, in 2013, clocked 126.6mph on his trusty Suzuki Hayabusa at Elvington Race Track, in Yorkshire, to break the Motorcycle Hearse World Speed Record, which still stands today.

Paying his respects on Facebook, Simon Helliar-Moore said: “I will never forget this man! Deepest sympathies to his lovely wife and all who knew and respected him.”

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William Hollingshead added: “Incredibly sad time. Paul was loved by many and he left a bit of his unique style with all of us.”

John Williamson said: “So sorry to hear that Paul has gone. I will remember his laugh for as long as I live.”

Ms Coulbert said: “It’s been very lovely to see all the warm tributes coming in for him from all parts of the country.

“Paul will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. He laughed all the time and I think it’s his amazing laugh I will miss the most.”

She added: “He once told me ‘I don’t want anyone to say I was nice, or that I was a good man – people always say that but it’s never the truth. I want it to be said that this guy was a dirty sinner and he didn’t deserve to go to heaven – but God saved him’.

“That was Paul.”

Bikers are invited to gather for Rev Sinclair’s last ride at 10am on Saturday, May 4, at Westminster Industrial Estate, in Measham.

His fleet of 13 motorcycle hearses – including the Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Thunderbird, Harley Davidson and world record-breaking Hayabusa – will set out at 10.15am for a service at Coton Green Church, in Tamworth, let by Rev Sinclair's own beloved Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle hearse sidecar.

The convoy of motorbikes will return to his home village in Heather for 12.30pm, where he will be buried in the cemetery there.

Everyone, including learner riders and non-motorcyclists, are welcome to join in or pay their respects on the day.

Ms Coulbert said Motorcycle Funerals would continue as Rev Sinclair’s legacy and would continue to honour “the craziest and most brilliant of ideas”.

Bikers to turn out for Motorcycle Funerals rev's last ride (2024)


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