Elisabeth, A Living Way And Rhythm In A World City

'Elisabeth, our companion in faith and sister in Christ, we entrust you to God who created you....May you see your Redeemer face to face and delight in the vision of God for ever'. Years ago Elisabeth wrote these words and asked that I say them as her body was lowered into her grave. So, accompanied by our London based Guardian Simon Reed and Voyager Madeline Cotter, I did this in the cemetery which is only closed on Derby Day, since it is next to the famous Epsom Downs race course. 

In the early 1990's Elisabeth, along with Mark Wilson, the Vicar, and others, helped to start The Living Way, a pattern of living which over a hundred members of Christ Church, Epsom Common, Surrey and other local churches committed to. This involved daily prayer and scripture reading, regular stewardship and mission.  Before Mark moved elsewhere, aware that a different church leadership might not wish to continue The Living Way, he invited The Community of Aidan and Hilda to make links. As a result Elisabeth and several others became followers of our Way of Life, Elisabeth started a CA&H group in her lovely home and nurtured soulfriendship. Others became Friends. One of these, Pam Buckingham, said in her funeral address: 'I think of Elisabeth as a mother hen gathering her chicks. Her home was a haven. She had a gift of hospitality. Once, when she found her milkman  had no money for a Christmas lunch, she invited him to hers.   Some people here look upon her as their spiritual mother. She was a talented musician and teacher, she and her Polish husband Jan had four children, she was Christ Church's first lay pastoral assistant...'  Voyager Carol Smith wrote: 'We shared some wonderful times on retreats, teaching days etc, all of which contributed to the outworking of my vocation, ultimately to the priethood, which she supported and encouraged...'

Gifts in memory of Elisabeth are to be shared between Christ Church and The Community of Aidan and Hilda.

As Simon drove me to the underground station he reported on his London Diocese's teaching summit on the theme 'Being the Church in a World City'.

The Archbishop, Rowan Williams, asked what was the main  thing the church could offer people such as city bankers. His answer, in short, was rhythm.

Posted at 01:50am on 22nd September 2012
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