Our parish is celebrating 100 years, and this week we said farewell to two people who have been active members of the parish for more than half that time, with more than 100 years of service between them: Denis and Lyn Headon.
Denis as a reader at Mass and a Catenian (serving as president of the Upminster circle three times) for more than 50 years, and also Parish Accountant for 15 years. Lyn as a teacher at St Joseph’s Primary School then Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School for nearly 20 years, and parish organist for 50 years (during which time she established the parish choir and has left a great musical legacy). Denis and Lyn are now moving up North, and at what was meant to be a quiet farewell Mass they were surprised not only with a flash-mob rendition of Cwm Rhonda from the choir, but also a double presentation of the papal Benemerenti medal. Benemerenti means ‘well merited’, which it clearly is in their case. This occasion was also notable for the presence on the altar of four priests – their son Fr Andrew (parish priest of Ilford), Fr Matthew, and former priests of the parish Fr John Tuohy and Fr Gerald Gostling.