Further Recollections from the Stanmore Baptist Church

“She arranged for us to go to France with her.  We had a lovely holiday and she was really kind to make it possible for us to go to France.  She was the kindest lady on earth.”  (Trhliks)

“Dear Rita, We loved you, missing you . . . ”  (Tomas and Ivana)

“I remember Rita for her patience with the children at holiday club – helping them to learn to sew.  Endless patience so they could thread a needle.”  (Sue)

“Dear Rita, friend, neighbour and fellow worker, what a gift you have been over 30+ years.  Memories are too poignant to write just now, but we will pick up the baton you have put down.  God bless you and keep you, love Margaret P.”

“Picking raspberries and rhubarb in a lovely garden!” (Glenn & Winifred)

“To know Rita was to feel loved and accepted.  She was worth far more than precious rubies.  We will miss you but rejoice to know you are with Jesus.” (Unknown)

“Rita was a wonderful person.  She was one of the few people who made me feel that I was truly loved by God.”  (Anon)

“A special lady with a heart for others caring  and  full of Godly wisdom.  I have memories of her when she hosted a post-Alpha house group.  She will be missed.  Much love, Jessica Currie.”

“Thank you for all your hard work tutoring us.  We are all very thankful.” (Ben and Daniel)

“Thank you Rita for being such a great and thoughtful friend.  My children and I have learned a lot from you.  We shall never ever forget you.  Love of love” (JJ, Lana & Nadia)


Tribute From Miriam

Provided by Miriam 


My very very dear Rita,

 If you can talk to me through the words and music in your funeral, I know I can talk to you.  

I want to thank you for all that you have done for me.  How you were totally there, and a rock when things at times were really tough.  You were 100% reliable and as a young family we felt enormously welcomed and absorbed into your house and your family particularly when we stayed with you for a while following the birth of Kezia.  We shared so much fun over many years and I loved and was inspired by your approach to life.  You lived a life in synchrony with not just ideas, but words and actions that matched.

I am so glad that you never had to leave your house with all its cherished memories and that you continued to see life as a challenge – the cross-trainer was a fabulous idea!  You really died in active service and that is how you would have chosen it.

I will miss you enormously, but know that your legacy lives on in the wonderful family you have and were so proud of, and the way that you have touched so many lives.

You will always remain an inspiration to me and I hope that by the time it is my turn to move on upwards, I will have been able to be of use to at least one person in the way that you were to me.


With gratitude and love,


Recollections From Myra

Provided by Myra 

As with many people my mind has been going over all the times I have shared with your Mum for many years, knowing her first as a Music School organizing Mum. She did a lot of work for that organization. as you know. In recent years I have been to concerts with her. She, and your Dad were our companions at New Wine, Werner and Bill would go to seminars together leaving Rita and me to explore our own interests (men free !!). This was when we both heard about Healing on the Streets and knew we had to do it in Stanmore, however much it might embarrass us. These fears proved unfounded but I know what physical energy Rita consistently put into SHOTS. I know how much she really loved the people who often came for prayer or a chat. They always wanted to know where she was if she wasn’t there on a Saturday morning. The few days I came up to your home, Paul, with her was a real treat for me. It was a privilege to join your family for a few days and I was so pleased to roam around Edinburgh again where I had spent five years of my life. Rita had shared with me about the family , her love for her sons , their partners and beloved Grandchildren. likewise she knew about mine. We prayed together for you all.


I could go on about our shared interests; excursions to London for exhibitions, plays, conference days visiting mutual friends, meals, discussing books  —  and more. How I will miss her!  But this is only touching my life.  I know that her interest and love was for many, many others, especially at SBC. She was loving and giving and it had the foundation of a deep faith and life of prayer. We had had conversations on doubt and topical theological / ethical topics. These did in no way shake her core beliefs and her yardstick towards  others was always based on the love Jesus showed and gave. She did likewise.  How she loved all children and young people.


On returning together from a recent funeral we, without any morbidity and with some humour even , discussed how we wanted our deaths and what sort of funeral we would like.  She was content in the knowledge of her ultimate destiny and just wanted to die in her sleep. How great that God took her fairly pain free and in the way she wanted.


I as a friend  I will continue to miss and mourn for Rita. How much more for you her beloved family and brother will miss her now and in the future.  You are her heritage.  I pray you will find and treasure her faith, hope and contentment in your lives,


With love, Myra

Recollections By Sam Jourdan

My memories of Ganny are numerous, and it’s difficult to summarise them into a short post. She was an incredibly generous, loving woman, and my life will not be the same without her.

Her advice and encouragement has helped to shape the course of my life, and her outlook and attitude towards the world and people will undoubtably act as a font of wisdom from which I can draw from in the future.

Whether it be the smaller things; adding cold water to a boiling mug of coffee and only taking food you know you will finish, or the larger things; treating everyone with respect and seeing the world from other’s perspectives: Ganny will always be my side, and I will forever cherish the 21 years I had the fortune to spend with her.






Recollections By Nel Walker

Contributed By Nel Walker 

I first met Rita when she and Werner began coming to Stanmore Baptist Church in the early eighties.  My first memory is their coming to a Sunday tea at the Manse.

Rita has been a wonderful friend to me ever since, and to my family; children and grandchildren, who each have their own very special memories.   She was like a solid rock to us all.  
We had some great times together on holidays in the Isles of Scilly, and then with the Longman’s and the Finney’s in a row of several neighbouring caravans in the Yorkshire Dales.  We shared many experiences too in the early days of the New Wine Events in Somerset.
Rita was also instrumental in setting up the Beulah Counselling Service which continued to serve the local community in Edgware until recently.  She continued to support that work in various ways and offered herself and her phone as the first point of contact for people seeking counselling from the team of Beulah counsellors.   Her grounded vision and commitment was amazing.
We enjoyed a lovely day recently in September when she and Myra came to visit me in Brackley, and then she was present with us at David’s funeral just last month.
She enriched our lives and was an inspiration and role model for loving, practical care for others.  She was like a solid rock to me and to the family, and we never imagined her not being there as she seemed never to change, but just continued with the same outgoing energy and care for others.

Recollections By The Stanmore Baptist Church

Contributed by members of the Stanmore Baptist Church 


“Rita is an inspiration to us all and we would all want to be like her as we approach old age.” (Rosie and Ken)

“Rita loved music and worship – she was always an encouragement and a blessing to me!” (Glyn)

“Rita, always had an encouraging word and she hosted my family & I for a Sunday lunch”

“Rita supported us so much especially our four boys, Jacob, Dylan, Eran and Aled. Such a wonderful role model. We miss you. x”   (Helen)

“What a lovely lady, she always had a smile on her face. We miss her! Playing the angels in heaven.” (Mel, Ken, Nathan and Luke)

“Rita: You have been always so Very Kind, Compassionate & Loving to Rachel . . . Each of us will Miss You”   (Rachel’s family)

“Rita made it possible for us to remain in Stanmore, and therefore at the church after we married. So far that has been an extra 25 yrs of service and involvement. Hopefully there will be many more years. Thank you Rita!” (Tony and Gill Barden)

“I remember asking Rita to pray for me & my family and being a little scared of her, but the warmth and love I felt during and after when she talked to see how everything was has always put a special spot in my heart for Rita.” (Wendy)

“A lovely person who always made us feel welcome. Rita often prayed for our family and was so nice with her comments about our daughter. We pray she is at peace now and ask that the Lord will bless her legacy and family.” (Sukhram family)

“Rita is a lovely and kind woman. Only last Sunday she called William, my husband, to tell him that if our son needs any help at all with his studies she would be happy to help and to just let her know.”

“I still can’t believe her heart has stopped beating. It is like walking past Big Ben every day at noon and hearing it chime. And then one day it doesn’t. Rita we love you with all our heart.” (Shaun)

“I’ll always remember how she always helped the young people.” (James)

“Rita, you were a bright light to us.” (Sadhna)

“Will always remember her hospitality & warmth. RIP Rita, love Liz”

“A lovely lady and a real giver of her time and talents. X”

“She always helped people and was a fabulous friend.” (Natalka)

“You radiated so much peace and love. Rest in Peace” (Olu)

“I will always remember her and how she welcomed everyone and how she helped me with my work.”

My memories of Rita

Contributed by Alexandra

I lived at Bowls Close (number 4) from the age of 4 for 20 years and then returned to visit my parents regularly until Dad died last year so I knew Rita for over 50 years.  The houses at Bowls Close were built in 1964 and most of the families had young children and we all played happily together.  I remember Rita telling me that she got in first with the choice of house at Bowls Close and chose number 7, which had the best garden including some of the original garden from Bowls House.


As children, my brothers Peter and John and myself were particularly friendly with Stephen and Paul and also Catherine and Richard from number 6 as we were all similar ages.  I remember Rita used to organise New Year’s Eve parties and we as children played monopoly upstairs (with Stephen usually winning) – it was a great treat for us to stay up late.


I remember Rita as always being friendly, busy and full of energy – teaching, coaching, organising things, taking in lodgers, socialising with friends and helping others.


Rita assisted us when we were looking for a lodger for Dad as I asked her if she knew anyone suitable.  She came up with Jeannette from her Church, who lived happily with Dad for 5 years until he died.  Having such a good lodger meant that Dad could live at home successfully.  I often popped in for chat when I was visiting my parents and she always knew all the news of the Close (and other things) and was always friendly and interested in my news.  I know she was very proud of her children and grandchildren.  When I was sorting through my Dad’s photos I always brought over any I found of her family.  Fairly recently I found one of Paul about 6 months and myself which she said she had never seen and she gained a lot of pleasure from it.


She was definitely the matriarch of the Close and so it is fitting that she was the last one standing.  I was saddened to hear of her death as I thought she would go on forever.  It was wonderful that she was so astute at her age and able to travel and work and live unencumbered by illness and disability that becomes a problem for so many others of her age.



4 Bowls Close

Now living in Dorset


Contributed by Nicola Gamble

‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible’ – Dalai Lama


When I first met Rita in Bowls Close in 1984 she was cooking and hosting for a large group of German choristers  – a surreal experience. From that moment on she took me to her heart and held me there against all odds.


She was the epitome of kindness, compassion and forgiveness.


It’s a privilege to have had her in my life for over 30 years and my children are blessed to have had her as a grandmother. The seeds she has sown in their lives and mine remain.


– Nicola


“Rita has played a significant part in many people’s lives through her acts of friendship, generosity and hospitality, our own included. Hers was a life totally lived to the full and her immense energy and zest for living an absolute wonder to behold!”


“She was a very special lady, full of so much love and caring for everyone around her.  We will miss her very much.”


“The passing of a very great Lady”.


“Rita was an outstanding member of the Stanmore Society, having been a member for at least 34 years, possibly even longer.  She was an active member as well as an active committee member..  She gave continued  valuable support in our activities, latterly as the Editor of our Newsletter, a function which nobody else could manage as well she did. We must not also forget her other good and charitable works.  Her energetic and creative presence is now lost to the Society and to Stanmore.”


“She was a wonderful lady and one who we were privileged to know during our regular trips.”


“’His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”‘ She has been a really faithful servant of God and I believe is now continuing as she has done for many years .. to share her master’s happiness. I will miss Rita so very much and appreciate all the love, time, fun, interest and kindness she has given during our years of friendship.”


Contributed by Pete and Nicki Copeland

What can I say about mum that hasn’t already been said? Plenty, actually, but I’d need to write volumes.


This amazing woman changed my whole life. I was living a pretty mundane life, and then I met this amazing gift from God. I am now happier than I’ve ever been, and all because of one woman and her love for waifs and strays. Through Mum I met and fell in love with Jesus, and through Mum I met and fell in love with the woman of my dreams.


Mum inspired me; she was my rock and my foundation; she was my shining light and my beacon. She was my mum, and she will be forever. Mum touched not only my life; she also touched the lives of countless other people. Mum was incredible in every sense of the word.


I love you, Mum


Pete xx


Rita was the very first person to welcome me when I came with my family to the church around 15 years ago. She didn’t know me, yet she invited me round for coffee.


She has always been there for me and my children, including at the most difficult times. Her love, encouragement and generosity in so many ways has blown me away.


It is Rita that Pete and I have to thank for bringing us together. Once again, she welcomed into her home someone she didn’t know, accepted him and loved him. She wouldn’t take no for an answer when she invited him to church, and eventually he gave in!


That’s where I met him. Rita and I would often joke that she just about forgave me for stealing him away from her. But we know she was genuinely over the moon to see us together, and to have been more than a little instrumental in bringing it about!


Rita, I love you and I miss you so much. I’m so glad that Jesus came for you in exactly the way you wanted him to. Rest in peace in the arms of the one you love, and I look forward to sharing a meal with you in your heavenly kitchen.


All my love,

Nicki xx