Newsletter 109

Our first two Open Days have been very successful, and once again we must thank those from TFL and Crossrail for their support. We appealed in the last news letter for people to train to be guides. This had a good response and we are pleased to welcome Joanna Unbanek and Peter Hazeldine who have agreed to become guides at the Chapel.   We are also in need of helpers at Open Days. We only have one person in addition to Father Martin who is able to lift the tables for the stalls. These are normally put out on the Thursday before the Open Day at about 1.30 p.m. after the 12.35 p.m. service, and cleared away after the Open Day itself. It is not only the tables that need moving, but the chairs as well. If you are fit and able to help move the furniture it would be greatly appreciated, we are also in need of helpers on the stalls. If you think you could lend a hand please let us know, you will be made very welcome.

Friends AGM

On Monday 12th June we will be holding our AGM in the Chapel starting at 7.30 p.m. this will be followed by light refreshments.

Because of committee members moving on we have one or two vacancies on the Committee. What does being a committee member involve ? We meet about once every two months, normally on a Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. following the 12.35 p.m. service, We get updates on the upkeep of the Chapel and forthcoming events. No experience is necessary. If you are interested on being on the Committee of the Friends or would like to find out more, please contact the Acting Chairman before the AGM so you can be proposed at that meeting.


The London Open House Weekend

Is a week earlier than we advertised

It is on the Weekend of Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.


Future Events 2017

                      Monday 12th June – A.G.M. in the Chapel at 7.30 p.m.

                      Saturday 8th July – Open Day

Tuesday 1st August – Tickets for ‘Gone. But Not Forgotten’ go on sale

Saturday 9th September – Open Day

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September – London Open House Weekend

Saturday 7th October – Gone, But Not Forgotten – Show of Songs @ 3.p.m.

Saturday 25th November – Christmas Bazaar


Forthcoming Event


An afternoon of songs many of which you will know but, the shows they came from have been forgotten or are never performed these days.

The Concert will be held in the Chapel on

Saturday 7th October – 3 p.m.

Tickets in advance £8.00

(If paid by 30th September)

Tickets after 1st October or on the door


Including tea & cakes

The Concert has been arranged by our President

Vyvian Ellacott and performers from the

Kenneth More Theatre

who are giving us their services free of charge

Tickets are available from 1st August

and can be purchased from Barbara Westcott

117 Levett Gardens, Ilford, IG3 9BX

Tel: 020 8597 0811


Newsletter 108

A happy new year to all our members and a big thank you to all who supported our Christmas Bazaar last November. The final result was £1456.77, our best ever total.

The success of the Bazaar was however, tinged with sadness for a few days after the event we received a letter of resignation from Cllr. Joyce Ryan, our chairman. Cllr. Ryan said that because of other commitments she felt she could no longer give as much time to the Chapel as she would like. The committee were all shocked at her decision as over the years she has contributed to the Chapel in many different ways, including during her year as Mayor of Redbridge, by donating part of her Mayor’s appeal to the Chapel as well as in our negotiations with the council.

It was agreed unanimously that the Vice-chair, Barbara Westcott, MBE, would take the lead until our next AGM. On behalf of the Committee, Barbara is sending Joyce a letter of thanks, and enclosing a small gift of appreciation for all she has done for us across the years.


It’s very nice dear, but what on earth am I going to do with that?

We hope you all had a very enjoyable Christmas, but now is the time to decide what to do with that present you were given that you will never use, or is a perfume you cannot stand. Answer to your problem. Donate it to the Chapel. We are always looking for new and nearly new items to sell, or put away for the Christmas Bazaar.

Any thing saleable, but please no clothing or jumble.

We need items for the bric-a-brac, paperback books, CD’s or DVD’s. stalls. As well as empty Gift Bags for next years Bazaar, toiletries, etc.

If you have any items please either bring them to an Open Day, or any Thursday Morning. The Chapel is normally open from around 11 .15 a.m. for the service held at 12.35 p.m. and someone is normally in the Chapel until 2 p.m.


Are You Interested In History?

Are you or anyone you know interested in History? At one time we had four or five guides at the Chapel to take people round on Open Days. Unfortunately most of them have passed away, and we now only have one guide, Martin Fairhurst, who does a marvellous job, but even he needs a day off occasionally, and if we had more than one guide it would give Martin a rest. It has been know for him to do four or five tours on one day, one after the other.

If you are interested in History, and would like to know more about Ilford’s oldest building and then pass that information on to others, give Martin a ring (his phone number is on the reverse side) and have a talk to him, he would be only too pleased to have some help.


Help ! – We Need Somebody

(As the Beetles song nearly goes)

Just before the Christmas Bazaar, Sheila Leake who as many of you know with her partner Bill and Gwen ran the kitchen at all our events was taken ill. Sheila is on the mend but, is not back to full health yet. On top of that Gwen Dodkins husband Ken who was very frail and in hospital, passed away in January.

This leaves us very short in the kitchen for open days and also other events. Father Martin’s wife Jan has offered to help when she can but we do need more help at our Open Days. Can you give a few hours four or five times a year to help out at the chapel. Not only do we need help in the kitchen but also on some of the stalls. Many are run by just one person, which means they do not always have a chance to look around or have a break. If you are able to volunteer please let any of the committee know. Our next open day is on Saturday 11th March, from 9.30 a.m. to about 2.30 p.m. Please help to keep our Open Days going.


Newsletter 107

As autumn approaches and the evenings and mornings are darker it just reminds me of how quickly the months and years seem to fly by!
I do hope that many of you will be able to come to the concert at the Chapel on the 29th October. The committee are hoping that the event will prove not only enjoyable but an opportunity to raise increasingly needed funds. Barbara Westcott is selling the tickets and our President, Vivyan Ellacott is arranging the entertainment. With a building as old as the Chapel it always needs something doing to it!
Please try to get your family and friends to become Friends of the Chapel and take out membership
Our Christmas Bazaar on the 26th November will be another event that we hope you will support and enjoy. If you have suitable gifts as prizes or for sale please let Pamela Wood know and let her have them.
We only have a small number of volunteers and helpers. Do you think you might be able to give some of your time to help, or know of someone who might?

Joyce Ryan


R.I.P. to two valued members

Donald James Frederick Fletcher

We are sorry to let you know that Don Fletcher died peacefully in hospital on September 17th 2016, aged 86. Don was very much involved with the Chapel, especially in the early days of the Friends, when he was able to use his skills as an architect in the construction of the kitchen and toilets. He remained a member of the Friends all his life.

He was also very much involved in the community, running a small choir that sang for charities, and recording passages for the Redbridge Talking Newspaper. Don himself had a fine tenor voice, often singing solos, and was a member of the Ivor Evans singers. When this became the Valentine Singers he took many active roles; as well as singing he acted as a narrator and reader, and was very involved in the technicalities of staging the choir. In recent years he became the President of the Valentine Singers.

His funeral took place at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium on September 28th.

He is survived by his wife, Doreen, and Steve and Jo.

John Barwick Barnes

As we reported in our last newsletter of the death of Father Barnes on 7th August. 2016 at the age of 84 —The news came in just as we were going to press.
Father Barnes was born 24th February 1932 and as a boy was a chorister and boat boy at St Mary’s
Ilford. He went to Cranbrook College and then Kings College London where he studied and gained his theology degree. He was made a curate at St Thomas Brentwood in 1959, being priested in 1960.
In 1965 he moved to become Rector at Arkesden with Wicken, Bonhunt until 1971.
In 1971 he became the priest at St Mary’s Ilford where he remained until he retired in 1999 at the age of 67. He was made an Honorary Canon of Chelmsford in 1995.
After his retirement from St Mary’s he helped out in several churches and in 2001 was made Chaplain of the Hospital Chapel in Ilford where he served for 10 years, retiring in 2011.
During his time at St Mary’s he was also a teacher of R E and English at a local school. He was a great friend of Sister Felicitas and Sister Margaret of the Sacred Passion who lived for a while in the alms houses next to the chapel.
His funeral took place on 24th August at St. Michael and All Angels in Walthamstow, and he was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in Arkesden.
To our knowledge he had no other family.


There is a communion service every Thursday in the Chapel at 12.35 p.m. A cup of tea or coffee is available after the service. All Welcome



Newsletter 106

Who said AGM’s were Boring?

On Monday 4th July we held the Friend’s AGM but it was poorly attended, only 19 members attended. Never the less those who did not attend missed a very entertaining evening. We first had the legal bit of the meeting when the Accounts were accepted, and the officers and committee members were elected. The only changes are that Barbara Westcott has stepped up to become our Vice-Chairman, and Jackie Kavanagh has filled Barbara’s place as a committee member. Not only is Jackie a ‘friend’ she is also out contact with Cross Rail who have taken us as one of their community charities.

At the end of the meeting our President Vivyan Ellacott drew the Summer Draw. Congratulations to you all and thank you for your support.

After the business part of the evening we were entertained by our friends of the Kenneth More Theatre. They gave us a ‘taster’ of some of the fund raising events they are hoping to put on for us in the future. They performed sketches, bits from the musicals and old time music hall, and a ‘play’ on The Importance of Being Ernest, which you had to see to appreciate. The theme that ran through the whole performance was based on Shakespeare. I will never say the bard is boring after this performance. We thank the performers for giving up their time to entertain us.


Congratulations to Hilda Lyons who was awarded the BEM British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. Hilda was the founder of the Redbridge Dippers in 1977. A swimming club for the disabled.

World War 1

‘Redbridge Museum have recently released a new website,, a very comprehensive look at Redbridge in the first world war, and in particular there is coverage of War Memorials throughout the Borough, frequently with pictures of the memorials and often with biographies of those mentioned on them. The Hospital Chapel memorial (on the North Wall behind the choir stalls, adjacent to the organ) is included. Many of the men are listed on more than one memorial, and all are cross-referenced – if you are connected with a particular Redbridge church it should be included. There is also an excellent book ‘Redbridge and the First World War’, which can be obtained from Redbridge Museum (in the Central Library) for £4.95 or through the web-site for £6.99 including postage and packing.’

Membership Fees.

At a recent committee meeting it was suggested that we should offer a lifetime membership, as other organizations do. This was raised at the AGM but not enough members attended for us to make a decision. So we are asking you the members if you would be interested. At the moment the membership fee is a minimum of £6 a year although many members are generous and pay more. It is proposed that we offer a life time membership for a one off payment of £120. If you think this is a good idea, or think it is ridiculous can you please let our membership secretary Martin Fairhurst know. Once we get a feeling on what the members feel we will decide if or not it is a viable idea.

Can You Help?

‘We have recently been advised of the death of a member of the friends, but unfortunately we do not know his surname. The note we received was signed a daughter, ‘E. Rigg’, so we would be pleased to know her father’s surname, or membership number, which will be on the newsletter envelope label


Newsletter 105

Dear Friends,

On Sunday 8th May the Kenneth More Theatre held a concert ‘Our Fair Lady’ in tribute to Barbara Hills.  This was attended by several members of the Friends, but for those who were unable to see the show, it pictured Barbara’s life.  Starting with the a song ‘Fill Every Glass’ from the first show at the Kenneth More Theatre ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ in which Barbara took part this was followed by excerpts from Threepenny Opera and West Side Story.  Barbara took part in a many Agatha Christie plays and we had The Twelve Barbara Thrillers, a comic song based on the Twelve Days of Christmas, number one being a bottle of poisoned Gin, the fifth five candle sticks etc, the twelfth victim survived.  We then had more singing with Fiddler on the Roof and Madam Butterfly.  This was followed by a tribute to Shakespeare in a monologue titled Which Witch, and the first half ended with dancing from the younger members from the Pamerstone Stage School.

The second half started with excerpts from the World of Mozart, this was followed by the unveiling of a Portrait of Barbara by Councillor Barbara White, Mayor of Redbridge.  This portrait will hang in the theatre, so Barbara will always be there keeping an eye on things.  We then had a sketch on The Nativity Plays, Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, and Brother Mine from Die Fledermaus.  This was followed by part of The Importance of Being Earnest. The show finished with the whole cast singing their own version of ‘Thanks for the Memory. There was also a raffle and the proceeds from the show and the raffle went to the theatre ‘Spot Light Fund’ something Barbara was involved with from the beginning.


Since our last newsletter we have lost two more of the founder members of the Friends.  Ian Row passed away in April after a short illness.  He was on the committee for many years, and only gave this job up last year due to his health.  The other was Phylis Bowes, who will be remembered by many for the flower shows she put on at the chapel.


We would also like to send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Hilda Lyons, who runs our Bric-a-Brac stall on Open Days.  Hilda had a heart attack and was in hospital for several weeks.  She is now home but on the strict instructions to rest and do nothing.  We wish you well Hilda.


Ordinary Time is anything but Ordinary


The Church, especially those parts of it that follow after the Roman Calendar, has now entered what is known as Ordinary time. Ordinary Time refers to two periods of time in the Christian liturgical calendar, one beginning on the day after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (the end of the Christmas season) and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday, the other beginning on the Monday after Pentecost, the conclusion of the Easter season, and continuing until the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. These periods of time combined are the longest time in the liturgical year. In Latin, the name of this time is Tempus per annum translated as time during the year.


Ordinary time is kept in green, the colour of nature and of the new life, which shoots forth in the spring. It reminds us during the Church’s year that we are always being given new life to nourish our spirits as we listen to God’s word at the Mass and receive the sacraments. Green is the colour of hope, and the Christian should always go on his or her way full of faith and hope.