PCC Member of the Month: Gladys Jones
This is the fourth of a series of ‘pen portraits’ aimed at raising the profile of individual members of St Chad’s Parochial Church Council in which they write about themselves and outline their aims for St Chad’s.
How washing up led to the PCC, all thanks to Cath
I was very interested to read Henry Ibberson’s account in last month’s magazine of his welcome in Pattingham as it chimes very closely with ours.
Stuart and I arrived in the village on December 20, 1966, with our two small children (yes, for all those doubters, there was life before Kate). We had only just unpacked when the Vicar arrived, leaving us details of Christmas services.
After the Christmas morning service, we were warmly greeted by Cath Harrison – yes, that same Catherine Harrison who greeted Henry so many years later. Suffice it to say that before I rushed home to check on the Christmas dinner, I had been persuaded to attend the next choir practice and Stuart had been told that he was the very man that Cath needed to help her with the church youth club.
In a very short time I was voted, by Cath and John, on to the PCC. As I was called in to help with the little dramas that the youth club put on in church, Cath soon called me in to help with the drama group as a washer-up and costume fitter.
While I was in the kitchen at one performance, I heard various members mourning the lack of a director for the next play so, opening my big mouth, I offered to do it. That led to a lot, starting with Stuart’s appearance in Chad, a play about a saint, leading to our monthly
appearances in St Chad’s School in ‘Open the Book’.
In about 1975, the Brownies needed a new leader so Muggins took up the baton and became Brown Owl, soon to be helped by Carol Cadman, one of the church youth club members – who is Brown Owl to this day.
It was in this capacity that I first had some taste of preparing services as, in those days, the first Sunday in the month was Parade Service. It was also about this time that I ceased to be a member of the PCC as Stuart became church treasurer and a member of the Deanery Synod and I thought one of us was plenty.
Things started to get more interesting when Stuart Ansell came to the parish. He was diocesan youth officer and wanted to make things happen.
It was Stuart who introduced the holiday club to the parish. He and my husband were great mates and the two Stuarts decided to organise a walk led by the three bishops from north to south of the diocese. This led to the idea that something should happen regularly and the Bells’ Run came into being.
It was when Stuart retired from being treasurer that I returned to the PCC: I think he still, after a quarter of a century, wanted to know what was going on. Now he would merely have to read the ‘notes’ in the Parish News.
The point of my ramblings is this: if John and Catherine Harrison could do so much by offering a word of welcome to newcomers, so could we all.