Tributes to Some of the People who have died during Recent Months

George Oliver, Greenford

From Angela Barnes, Greenford

The recent passing of George Oliver on 9th October was a sad day for many people.

We have been friends with Helen and George for over 45 years and have spent many happy hours working together especially doing plant stalls and fairs at church meetings and social events. George took a full part in church activities being on Church Council, Circuit committees and treasurer of the Wesley Guild.

His wisdom and clear thinking guided others in making important decisions about how the church developed regarding property and financial matters. George became treasurer in March 2004 when he took over from Phyllis Shepherd who had been doing the work for 12 years. With help from Ann Preedy, Ron Mann and myself, he looked after the accounts until we needed to change the signatories in February 2020 to add more people to the list – he continued to be a signatory when I became treasurer.

Margaret and I will miss the fun we had at social events with plant stalls at church anniversary – Helen and I doing conifer arrangements while George cooked the dinner to which we were invited. I could go on!

An organisation can only be successful if a good team is working together for the benefit of the whole and George’s contribution to the life of the church was outstanding.

Thank you George for being an important part of our lives. Rest in peace.


From Juliet Edwards at Kingsdown

I first met George at my first sitting as a Magistrate. Having completed all the initial training I felt as prepared as I would ever be. George was the Friday Chairman and that was my elected day to sit, so I realised I was going to be working with this man for some time.

Nothing prepares you for that very first sitting, when it is all for real. I felt so anxious. What if I said or did the wrong thing, made a fool of myself? But how lucky I was to have George as my Chairman. He was considerate, encouraging, reassuring, knowledgeable and so kind, quietly explaining when things were complicated or new to me. In the courtroom he showed me what delivering justice really meant. In court he was courteous to all, but certainly in control, so that court business always moved on well.

George became my unofficial mentor and trainer. He believed passionately in Local Justice. I learned more from him than I can explain. And I was fortunate enough also for him to become my friend. We soon discovered we worshipped in the same circuit, George at Greenford, me at Kingsdown.

There were inevitably lulls in proceedings and magistrates had to retire to wait patiently in the Magistrate’s room. And when we didn’t need to talk about court business, there was always family, rugby, Cornwall, and trains - all subjects so close to his heart.

When I first took the Chair, four years later, there was one person in my mind. And at the end of the sitting, the same. Did I meet the standard George had set?

George was the best of men. He was a man of unshakeable Christian belief and integrity. The principles he led his life by, remained the same in every part of his life. Unfailingly courteous and always ready to listen to others. A good friend indeed - how lucky I was to have known him. And to believe he is at peace now and safe with God.

 

Elizabeth Sherman, Northolt

From Gerald Barton, Circuit Administrator

Quite some years ago, Elizabeth served the Circuit as secretary to the Circuit Meeting and the former Circuit Policy Meeting. I worked quite closely with her drafting agendas for the meetings before putting them to the Superintendent of the day and on sorting out the minutes after the meetings. Elizabeth had an ‘interesting’ relationship with computers. She was not internet connected and didn’t want to be. In fact she tended to regard computers as suspicious beasts that needed to be treated carefully. So, minutes of meetings in particular came to me on paper but with scanning and optical character recognition software, files were soon created. It was good fun working with Elizabeth, idiosyncratic, yes, but very enjoyable and in any case, that’s all part of my job.

I was saddened to hear that Elizabeth had died as the pandemic took hold. I know she was deeply involved at Northolt and I’m sure her friends there will remember her with fondness, as do I.


Graham Preedy, Greenford and Local Preacher

From Joyce and Errol Scott and family, Greenford

Graham was a long-standing member at Greenford Methodist Church and a local preacher in our Circuit. Graham was one of nature's gentleman. A true man of God.

Graham was often found at the front of Greenford Methodist Church, remarkably dressed, with a big smile on his face and a firm handshake, welcoming the parishioners. He was always interested in how you were doing. His love and humility made a tremendous impact. Graham was great because he cared for and served the needs of others.

Graham loved his Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart, mind and strength. He was viewed by many as a leading figurehead of the Christian faith. He was thoughtful, gentle and caring. Graham was always willing to go the extra mile. He was the prominent figure in the Sunday school and the Superintendent for several years. Lots of those he taught as children continue to have faith and follow the Lord our Saviour.

Graham’s warm and loving personality, his graciousness, his generosity and his love for the church shone through the stained-glass window. He intentionally would bring people together and along. Because he was so good at relationship building, things got done. It would have been easy for him to slip into an authoritative power-mode but Graham’s humility was the real power he had in the relationships he cultivated.

His humanity extended to his family, friends and anyone else who knew him. People liked him. Graham was easy to know, an open book. I was seen as ‘The Tea Lady’ in Graham’s eyes. It was a real honour for me. Graham would often say, “Joyce… nobody makes tea/coffee the way you do, you were going to heaven to make the tea!” He would echo the same sentiment when he knew that I was scheduled to be with him at the Foodbank. I will really miss you Graham.

To God be the glory for Graham’s life and all the years of service at Greenford Methodist Church. He was an inspiration to so many of us. Many people are mourning his death, but we are rejoicing that he is in Heaven with the Lord.


From John Arhin, Northolt

I came to know Graham Preedy through his visits to Northolt Methodist Church as a local preacher. Graham found his Hope in God. He answered Jesus Christ’s call and carried his cross and followed on. He trusted and obeyed. Christ was his life, his song, his strength, his faith.

Graham used his God-given gifts and talents to share the good news of God’s kingdom. He always had a story to illustrate a point. The young people at Northolt Methodist still remember how he used a pencil, a sheet of paper and an eraser to illustrate how God cleanses our errors and gives us second chances.

Graham was bold and uncompromising in his Christian life. He fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith. Dearly, dearly did he love, and we loved him too.

May the Eternal Father keep him in everlasting peace.


From Lyn Sallows, Northolt

My memory of Graham, apart from his preaching, is of him acting as the car parking attendant at Greenford. He was very definite about who could and who couldn’t use their car park when they held events.


From Yvonne Hill, Greenford

Graham Preedy has left us a legacy in humanity and Christianity. His stature and voice represented his faith and manner. An emblem for Greenford Methodist Church and its long history. A role model for all ages in his contributions and roles he played along with his dear wife Ann and their family. For example – Sunday School, Junior Church etc. All areas of church life.

Also, thanks to God for Graham’s life. The Prayer and Healing Services at Greenford were started through his testimony. As a local preacher my Christian life’s journey has been abundantly blessed and shared through his spiritual inspiration and faith.

“…Well done thou good and faithful servant…”


Scotley Malcolm, Greenford

From Elizabeth Burke, Greenford

I have known Scotley since first coming to Greenford Methodist Church back in 1984.  I will always remember on a Sunday morning the lovely, colourful ties he would wear to accompany a brilliant white shirt! I soon became friends with him and his wife, Veda.  It was a joy to see them receive an award from Ealing Council in connection with their years as foster parents. 

Scotley was a true Christian; helping out at church, using his skills as a carpenter.  When he became a Church Steward, he would attend meetings such as the Family, Mission and Service committee.  I shall always remember his kindness.


From Errol and Joyce Scott, Greenford

Scotley was such a quiet, humble man.

Scotley was a fixer ..!

Whenever anything needed repairing at the church, who would you call? Scotley! More often than not, he was already on the case before being asked.

Scotley and his late wife Veda, were generous people, opening up their home to a number of foster children, all of whom benefitted from being part of a loving family. He was a traditionalist in the sense that he wanted his children to be educated and to follow Christian principles.

Scotley was a person that understood the meaning of, and lived the words from, Micah Chapter 6 verse 8

    '.. the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
    to do what is right,
    to love with mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God . ..'

Scotley’s commitment to his faith never wavered. Having experienced the heartache of losing his daughter Valerie at such a young age, he continued to give years of service to Greenford Methodist Church.

Simply, the world is a little sadder because we have lost a truly humble, decent and caring man and in today’s times that is a great loss. Grace to you Scotley, and peace be with you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


From Olive Fearon and family

Scotley, thank you for all you have done within the church surroundings. You were truly blessed and committed to the church life.

We shall miss you. You will never be forgotten, especially your late night painting of the outside foyer.

Hi..! also your favourite words: ‘ Count your blessings ’

May you find prefect peace.

’To God be the glory.’


First published on: 30th November 2021