The past few weeks have given us a mixture of sorrow and joy.  Phil Beaver died in early May and her funeral service was a mix of sadness but proud reflection and admiration for all that she, with the wonderful support of her husband Don, achieved during her long life  -  as a Churchwarden, choir member, friend, mother, and member of the community, setting a wonderful example to all of us. 

Liz Castle wrote a marvellous tribute in the recent edition of Spectrum which is just one example of Phil’s legacy:

“Phil was a founder member of the St Martin’s Kneeler Group when it was started by Miss Irene Gordon in 1979.  She was a most accomplished needlewoman and produced beautiful work. She completed nineteen kneelers, designing most of them herself.  The first one was an oak tree followed by flowers and birds in our flora and fauna scheme.  Phil loved to design commemorative kneelers so she did one for the Millennium, the Queen’s Jubilee, the Women’s’ Institute, St Martin’s Guild Centenary and another for 175 years of St Martin’s School. When we started our pew seat project Phil was the first to complete one. She suggested that we should have a design of various crosses and we have followed this on subsequent seats.  She was working on her fifth seat when she died – they are 1.5 metres long, so no mean feat.  What a wonderful legacy Phil has left for St Martin’s church and we will miss her at our meetings with her wise words and sense of humour.  If ever she or anyone else made a little mistake in their needlework she always said the same thing – ‘a blind man would be happy to see it’; so don’t bother to unpick it!”

Phil was an active participant in the annual St Martin’s Guild Fete, as treasurer, tea tent supervisor and numerous other roles over the years. I think she would have loved to have attended this year’s event, held at Stargroves for the first time for more than thirty years. Many thanks to Mr and Mrs Dalrymple for allowing us to use their magnificent grounds and to everyone who made the fete such a success.

Thank you also to all those involved in today’s Open Gardens event, particularly the five families who allowed us to enjoy their beautiful gardens and the many volunteers who helped organise the day.