Tea party success marred by bereavement

Words and photo by Dave Barry

Fate didn’t allow the Friends of St Mary’s Church to rest on their laurels for long.

Just as they learnt that their fourth annual tea party had reaped over £600, they also learnt that one of their number had been suddenly snatched away from their midst.

Margaret Cheetham, who had attended the event, died suddenly two days later.

Margaret sat with the new vicar, Rev Richard Walker, at the tea party and took part in the following morning’s communion service at the church, said her old friend Christine Cox.

“I shall miss her greatly”, said Christine. “She was a wonderful person”.

Margaret was secretary of the Friends group, which Christine chairs.

She played an active role in its activities. Over the years, the Friends have raised a quarter of a million pounds which has been spent on various church projects. The most recent one was renovating the south porch.

The tea party was disrupted by a short, sharp cloudburst which prompted everyone to take cover in the sanctuary of the church.

The money was raised mostly through the sale of refreshments, Christine said.