On 17th May we said farewell to Sandra and Barry Hall at their last service with us before their move to Bournemouth to be with other members of their family.
Seven years ago, Sandra and Barry returned to live in this Parish, having both grown up in the area, and married in St George’s. Since becoming part of the congregation again, they have given of both their time and their talents unstintingly to the Parish, and Margaret Emberson acknowledged all that they had done in her speech to them. Sandra was thanked for all that she did as churchwarden, for the letters written, invoices and bills sorted, quinquenials and inspections arranged and dealt with, and meetings attended with clergy and other dignitaries in the parish and diocese. In addition, she accomplished a multitude of tasks, many unseen, which enabled our worship to run smoothly and kept our building in good order. (In fact, two weeks after her departure, one of the ‘new’ churchwardens was overheard to say that it was amazing how many little things Sandra did that people were unaware of.)
As if that were not enough, Margaret added, Sandra also gathered a team together to visit local schools as part of the Open the Book scheme. A group from this parish visits two local infant schools to read and enact Bible stories. Sandra arranged the rehearsals, sorted out the costumes, found props and liaised with the schools.
Turning to Barry, Margaret thanked him for playing the organ so beautifully every Sunday. (And in this he followed in the footsteps of his father, Charlie, a well-known and well-loved resident of the Parish, who had been a member of St George’s congregation and choir for over 75 years, and who was also the organist for many of those years.) Barry chose the hymns every week, practiced them, organised the choir, arranged concerts, played in the Parish Band and also for Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals.
Like Sandra, Barry also carried out a multitude of tasks to help with the smooth running of the church. He put things up in the loft, and got them down again when required, he raised the flag for the appropriate occasions, repaired or replaced countless items, and ensured the heating was on when the church or church room were being used.
As Margaret said, everything that Sandra and Barry did, they did with care, integrity, honesty, loyalty, endless energy, and always with words of encouragement.
In addition to the time they spent with their church involvement, Sandra and Barry still found time to pursue their own hobbies. Sandra, with her love of plants, enjoyed flower arranging, and also baked regularly for charity events. Barry was a member of the local tennis club, and maintained his interest in meteorology, which had also been his career occupation. He regularly contributed an item for this magazine, and indeed we have a ‘bonus’ contribution this month, since Sandra and Barry’s move did not take place quite as soon they had hoped.
Margaret Emberson, on behalf of us all, thanked Sandra and Barry profusely for all that they had done, and wished them well in their future in Bournemouth, saying that they would be in our thoughts and prayers as they begin their new life there. Flowers and a gift were given to them in as a mark of our appreciation.
Photos by Georgie Fry, Article by Margaret Dyer