Today I feel it only right and fitting that I pay tribute to my dear friend, Jan, who passed away last Sunday. She was a devoted St. Hils' supporter and who was also a great contributor to St. Hils too.
It was Jan who suggested we used the weekly Common Worship Collects for our website and I have kept that up faithfully week by week. Not only did she suggest them but she emailed me the whole lot so I had NO excuse or could say I "couldn't find them" online! You see Jan was, for a while, the webmaster for Holy Trinity Church, Stratford's website so I was able to return the compliment to her by helping her set that up after the last webmaster retired from the job. She added the collect to the church's site and thought it a good idea for St. Hils. I thought, "Why not?"..........after all, St. Hils is a REAL church too in my mind and equally worthy of having a weekly collect too. The collect gives weekly focus on the site to the church year as the Anglican church celebrate it..............and of course St. Hils IS part of the Anglican church.......even if it is just "in miniature"!
When I set St. Hils up I was very keen that we had all the "right" church furniture for liturgical use. However Jan was extremely observant and noticed that we were missing one particular item and she took care that we had one as a gift. Unbeknown to me she approached John Cheal of "Saved in Time" and commissioned him to make us our very own processional cross. You can see the processional cross used for the first time in St. Hilarys here...............Rev Ken was MOST privileged to carry it for the church for the very first time at Christmas.
This approach to John proved invaluable to us because John's craftsmanship skills are second to none working as he does, in both wood and non-precious metals. We even took a big risk and asked him if he would consider trying to make us a 1/12 scale brass eagle lectern for St. Hils too. Of course he agreed to the challenge and the rest is history. John went on to make more commission items for us too including the organ, altar rail, tea trolley, (a strange request I know but we attended a church for years where a tea trolley was an integral part of the church - serving drinks after some services..complete with urn too!) and paschal candle to name a few! ALL thanks to Jan who knew how talented he was!
I can't finish this blog without mentioning her one other important contribution to St. Hils. Jan, with her husband, was, for a few years, a representative for the Church of England Children's Society so it was only natural that, when we had our very own Christingle Service in St. Hils, she kindly offered to let us have one of her sermons which she preached at a real Christingle service in St. George's Church, Coventry.
Jan is one of many people who have given of both their time and talents to St. Hils so it is lovely that I am able to share her contributions with you all today. I will always remember her with great fondness and her legacy will live on in St. Hils......................
Till the next time..........
PS: You won't believe it - I have yet ANOTHER darned cold - and it feels worse than the last one! However I managed to convince the pharmacy assistant in a local Boots store to sell me the illusive "purple bottle" of Covonia today..............you know the one...................it is the night time version for tickly coughs (with cough suppressant and makes you lovely and dozy too so says a work colleague!) which they jealously guard behind the counter and only give it out if you give the right answers! AND my answers were 100% honest as I admitted the original version did nothing last night with my cough keeping me up half the night. I DO think the squeaky/croaky almost non-existent voice helped some lol