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Bill’s Letter for April 2017

We approach Easter this year with the sadness of having lost one of our most faithful members of the congregation, Don Somerville.

Don was born in Paddington, London, and brought up there. As a child in the war he was evacuated to Crowcombe, a little village in Somerset, which he remembered as a happy time. He was a good rugby player who played for Wasps in their B team; though he did damage his knee. He continued to follow rugby, especially the 6 Nations and the World Cup.

As an adventurous young man he travelled to Ceylon—Sri Lanka as it is now—to work as a manager on a tea plantation. It was there that he acquired the taste of drinking his tea black, a habit he continued throughout his life

After returning from Sri Lanka he went on holiday to visit his sister in Newport. It happened that Nan worked with his sister and they needed an extra girl to make up numbers. With a decision that would change her life forever, Nan chose to give up her original plans and join the party. Nan was involved with guides and Don was into scouts. They never stopped talking, Don stayed the full 2 weeks, and they ended up spending the rest of his life together. They set up home in London where Don worked making jigsaws. Then Waddington’s bought out the company he worked for and he was asked to move North, where he was a factory foreman.

As newcomers in the village they thought coming to church would be a good way of getting to know people. They soon got involved. John Crabb, the vicar at time, could see a good man and in 1971 asked Don to carry the cross. He has done so faithfully ever since for the last 46 years. He helped Laurie set up the scouts. His service to the church has been amazing. Mostly in the background; not making a fuss. He was efficient ,thoughtful and very supportive. We are still discovering all the background jobs he did, getting the church ready for services.

He will be greatly missed and the church will never be the same without him.. We give him into God’s love with our Easter hope of resurrection and new life.

Rev Bill Henderson

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