It was a real joy for Ann and me to travel to Kent yesterday to join the celebration of the 90th Birthday of Gladys who, for nearly 70 years, was a member of St. Francis of Assisi, Barkingside, where until two years ago, I was the Vicar. She moved to Kent early this year to be near her family. Several of her friends from St. Francis were also invited and it was good to see them and hear some of their news.
Gladys and her brother talking to Ann
For many years Gladys was the organiser of the Mother’s Union which used to meet monthly for their MU Meeting and every other week for their Prayer Group. Gladys and her late husband Charles were always there at church events, running the kitchen with the help of other MU Members and folk from the church. Sadly the Mother’s Union has now been closed at St. Francis. Gladys served on the Parochial Church Council for many years and was, in many ways, a leading light in the congregation.
Two strange coincidences: when my father visited us, he thought he recognised Charles but couldn’t say how and Charles thought he recognised my father. It was only after Charles died that his old war time notebook was found and we discovered that they both served in the same Squadron in the RAF during WW2. When Gladys moved she went to the nearest Parish Church to discover it was under the patronage of St. Francis. She has now settled in the congregation of her new parish of St. Francis.