Almost a couple of months ago I mentioned the death of Edna on this blog. Edna, together with her sister Evelyn, was part of this church for 88 years.
I'm sad to have to say that Evelyn, Edna's 95 year old sister, has now also died, and her Thanksgiving Service will be held at the church on Wednesday afternoon.
We have truly come to the end of an era. Both sisters could remember, and spoke fondly of, every minister of the church. They were devoted to their Lord and devoted, too, to the church. Both of them served in the Sunday School for many years, and they had a real passion for working with children and young people. They also had a heart for the wider mission of the church, especially the work of the BMS (Baptist Missionary Society). They began going to BMS Summer Schools in the early 1930s, and continued to enjoy such holidays for many years, and they headed up the church's support for BMS for a number of decades.
Evelyn was also a member of the church choir for 65 years, only giving up (for medical reasons) in her 80s.
What is fascinating is that Evelyn left behind a diary, detailing the significant events of her life, and it will be great to be able to pay tribute to her by reading from this diary. Significant national events as well as more trivial personal events are recorded in her diary, which will find its way into our church archives after next Wednesday. I smile at the entry for 20th April 2004: David and Margie came to tea, and stayed until 4.30pm. Evelyn dedicates the diary 'to my beloved Parents and to my sister Edna who has been such a good companion to me from childhood.'
Neither Edna or Evelyn were married, although Evelyn's diary tells of romance and an engagement which, in the end, she felt she ought to call off. It would seem that the sticking point was that her fiancé wasn't supportive of her Christian faith and her church involvement.
I will miss these two sisters dearly, visiting them was always a highlight. I only pray that on Wednesday I will be able to do justice to Evelyn's life and the contribution that she made to the church and the wider kingdom of God.