Faithful service

The recent weeks have brought news of the deaths of Betty Collins, Rena Stewart and the Reverend John Johansen-Berg who all faithfully served St Andrew’s.

Betty was a member for over 50 years, doing much for St Andrew’s.   She was a member of the legendary “Young Wives”, supported the Junior Church, and was an enthusiastic member of the Scottish Country Dance group.   She was responsible for Halls Lettings before the church centre was built and served on the Centre Management Committee when it came into being.   Betty took her role of Church Welcomer really seriously.   Her warm friendly manner helped many newcomers feel at ease.   She is missed.

Many of us attended Rena’s 100th birthday party earlier this year.  Her work at Bletchley Park, translating Hitler’s will, and at BBC World impressed us all, but Rena used to say, “I have done other things.”  She certainly did in St Andrew’s. An elder for many years, she organized Christian Aid, the Pulpit Supply, edited the magazine and so much more.   She ran the Scottish Country Dance group which attracted dancers from all over Ealing.  Her catering for the Burns Night and St Andrew’s Day Dances is remembered fondly by many.   In recent years, Rena was an enthusiastic member of the Discussion and Knitting Groups.  It was good that she was able to join in the Sunday morning services by Zoom, singing heartily and enjoying conversation afterwards.

The Reverend John Johansen-Berg who recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination was minister in St Andrews from 1977 till he left in 1986 to found  the Community for Reconciliation at Barnes Close, Bromsgrove.

When John came to St Andrew’s, his ideas seemed very radical.  We soon learned of concerns about the climate, campaigns to have lead removed from petrol, peace and reconciliation and the protection of the environment.

Joberg, as he was known to young and old in St Andrew’s is fondly remembered and we thank him for his service to St Andrew’s.


Anne Byfield