If you venture to beautiful Worcester and pay a visit to the cathedral there is a tomb with an epitaph on it that is well worth seeing on your visit. As you enter the cathedral from the north turn left down the side aisle. Just before the north transept you’ll find the tomb of Nicolas Bullingham (1511?–76).
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Heb 13:7).
Bullingham is worthy of remembrance, consideration and imitation for a number of reasons. He was an early English Protestant Reformer. Appointed chaplain of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, he soon developed ministerial interests in Lincoln. During the reign of Roman Catholic Queen Mary, he sought refuge in exile on the continent, returning in 1559 to become Bishop of Lincoln. Here he continued his work of reform, appointed priests “well versed in the scripture” and also serving actively in the House of Lords. In 1570 he became Bishop of Worcester. His epitaph in the cathedral reads:
Here born, here bishop, buried here,
A Bullyngham by name and stock,
A man twise maried in Gode’s feare,
Chief pastor late of Lycolne flock,
Whom Oxford trained up in youthe,
Whom Cambridge doctor did create,
A painful preacher of the truthe,
He changed this life for happie state.
He was Bishop of Lincoln and then Worcester.
The third last line is what I was personally most interested in, “a painful preacher of the truth.” Here ‘painful’ should not be understood as boring or even excessive, but rather as earnest. He was earnest concerning the Truth (Jesus) and His truth (God’s Word). He no doubt laboured deeply for his listeners to hear and understand and believe the truth of God themselves and so be saved and changed. What that this would be a label applied to all preachers (and indeed Christians) today, that they’d be “earnest preachers of the truth,” not giving in to the world, rightly handling the word of truth and preaching, perhaps not entertainingly, but plainly with such pain over the souls under their care, striving to be a means used by the spirit to cause godly pain or grief in their hearers’ hearts (2 Cor 7:10). Ah, yes, that God would raise up Christians who would be on fire for the Lord Jesus and His Word (Jer 20:9b).
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,
 Julian Lock, “Nicholas Bullingham,” Oxford DNB <oxforddnb.com> (August 2018).