Thanks to Neil for his lovely account of Maureen’s life.
One thing that has come through both in his words and in the accounts I’ve heard from other Church folk was Maureen’s love of art. She loved music, the theatre, and particularly the visual arts. She was responsible for many displays at the back of the church – perhaps drawing together her eye for what looked good with her teaching skills – she was a dedicated teacher, and her pupils grew very attached to her. She also created carts using a melted wax process – encaustic art, as I believe it is called.
Maureen taught abroad – in both Belgium and New Zealand – and it was when she returned to the UK from all that that she and Neil met. They had 39 years together, and shared life to the full – except for golf! Neil and Maureeen loved to travel.
Thanks to her team of carers, who have made such a difference in this last couple of years.
Maureen was one of those folk who avoid the limelight. She was a Deacon here for a while, but on the whole kept away from the spotlight. She was rather shy, but loved to laugh, and loved to support and to bless others. I’m reminded of Dorcas – a lovely lady in Acts 9 who ‘was always doing good and helping the poor’ – Maureen also had a keen eye for injustice, and supported many (Neil would say ‘very many’) worthy causes. Dorcas had made an impact on many peoples lives, and when she died Peter, the apostle, was summoned, and people insisted on showing him examples of the work she had done.
Kindness, even when found in someone shy, unassuming and gentle, makes a difference in this world. We all too often undervalue those who don’t made a splash.
It’s easy to dismiss a simple, uncomplicated and unadventurous life – but Maureen was contented. She loved Neil, and knew he loved her. Isaiah, the OT prophet, has this phrase: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.’ – and the prophet laments the fact that no-one will listen to his words, but prefer to rush around, in frantic activity.
The words of the 23rd Psalm as we have sung them seem appropriate here – a quiet, confident trust in a God who cares, and a life lived in the calm expectation of the loving protection of the Father above.
Quiet, simple – but not of less worth for all that.