Thursday, 5 July 2007

50th Anniversary: Meg Oliver remembers

Memories of All Saints Church, Shooters Hill

George, my husband of a week and I arrived at All Saints on Sunday 7th July, 1956. George was doing his National Service in Colchester. We had taken a flat with Vic and Lily Read in Kinlet Road, where I lived during the week, and George came at weekends. I worked at Woolwich library, with occasional forays to Shrewsbury House Library.

I was busy at work during the week and enjoyed George’s leaves at weekends,and we attended the morning service together. But inevitably Sunday evening arrived, when we had to part. We would walk down Shooters Hill, and I would come into the evening service, while George continued on down to Woolwich station. I shall never forget the sense of love and warmth that enveloped me as I entered the church (still the old building) Soon I was involved in the service, and then afterwards Bill and Lillian Sentance would take me back to their flat for a coffee. This kindness helped me so much to cope with the weekly parting.

All Saints was also very important for me because it was here that I was prepared for confirmation. I had belonged to a Baptist Church in Lee, where we had been married, but we had decided, before our marriage that I would become an Anglican because of the seriousness and depth I found in the communion service. So Rev. Fred Pizzey prepared me and I was confirmed in Southwark Cathedral in November 1956. We both appreciated Mr. Pizzey’s ministry and I particularly remember his weekly comments on the collect for the Sunday (all of course completely new to me!) Incidentally we bought the Vicar’s roll top desk, which my son-in-law still uses.

By the time the service of dedication was held we had moved to Southend, where George had started his teaching career and we had a brand new baby, so we could not be present. However, we left a souvenir behind. We gave a bookstall to the church in gratitude for the fellowship and building-up we had received from the church.

We were for many years active members of St. Michael and All Angels, Westcliff-on-Sea where we led Sunday School, Pathfinders and CYFA groups (though not all at the same time!) We moved to our present address in 1992 and now belong to St. Helen’s, Stapleford, near Nottingham.
George is a Reader and I sing and help in various ways. We lead a House Group together. We praise God for all His blessings on our married life, and the part All Saints played at its beginning.
We pray God ‘s richest blessing on the church as it celebrates the past and looks forward to God at work in the future.

Meg Oliver married to George June 30th 1956
Attended All Saints July 1956 –May 1957

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