TRIBUTES have poured in for an inspirational Greenock minister who has lost her fight against lung cancer.

Reverend Zam Walker died on Tuesday surrounded by her family, only weeks after courageously taking part in an Easter Walk of Witness in the town.

Her husband, Reverend David Coleman, who shared a ministry with her at the town’s West United Reformed Church, today spoke of her bravery in those final days.

He recalled how her devotion to her family, faith and those who suffer from injustice stayed with her to the very end.

Since Zam passed away messages of condolences have been sent from people all over the world, each touched by her life.

Rev Coleman, 52, said: “We were helped through it by the prayers of people from all over the world. It has been a great comfort.

“Myself and our children are doing better than could be expected. 

“We were all there in the hospice. Zam knew it was happening and she was alright with it.

“Before, Zam and I were joking that she had never actually been signed off sick.

“She managed to take part in the Easter Sunday service, which was of real significance for her. After that she gradually became ill. 

“We went on holiday for a break away but returned on Saturday by ambulance and she went into the hospice.

“Zam was determined never to be a victim. That was important to her.”

The couple came to Greenock in 2010 with their son Taliesin, now 17, and their daughter Mellangell, now 14, from Brighton.

Zam was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer last year, having earlier overcome breast cancer in 2003.

She took the decision to stop chemotherapy treatment in December and as her illness progressed she needed oxygen 24 hours a day.

Writing on an online tributes page set up after her death, friends have reflected on her life.

One of them, John Smith, from Dumfries, said: “I have never encountered such strength in more than 40 years in ministry.”

Rev Walker devoted her life to helping those who needed it the most.

She was also a passionate campaigner against domestic violence, serving as chairwoman of Scottish Women’s Aid and she also ran a housing project for ex-offenders in Wales.

Zam was a committed campaigner for nuclear disarmament, equality and regularly spoke up for those without a voice.

Her campaigns made her many friends throughout the world and she had a deep affinity for the plight of the Palestinians.

David said: “For Zam justice and faith were inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.

“We have had lovely messages but one that sticks in my mind is that someone said that she treated everyone decently. 

“We always treated people that way, even when they didn’t expect to be treated decently. It took them by surprise.

Zam met David when they were both on a pilgrimage to Iona and they would have celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this year.

David said: “Iona will always be somewhere that has a spiritual bond for us both.”

They were committed to a joint ministry built on equality and spent much of their time trying to bring all the churches in the town together - determined to forge an ever closer ecumenical community.

Zam, born in Luton in 1962, lived in various places in the UK including spells in Scotland and Wales.

Her funeral takes place on Thursday.