The St Andrews Church congregation and friends were saddened recently to hear of the death of Irene Leet. Irene and her husband, Ronnie, were great friends of St Andrews over many years. With her pronounced Northern Irish accent and her powerful singing voice you always knew when Irene was in Church on a Sunday.
Irene had a highly developed sense of social responsibility so It was no surprise that she quickly became an elder of St Andrews and went on to hold the position of Church Secretary for many years. She could also initiate new developments and played a leading role in the establishment of the Church Contact Centre. This highly successful venture, operating entirely through the efforts of volunteers, provided a neutral space for divorcing and separated families to access their children in a safe, secure and supportive environment. The Contact Centre received referrals from local courts and operated for many years from the Johnson Hall and Lounge areas of the Centre building.
Irene also played a leading role in getting the Church Centre project off the ground just over twenty years ago. In this she actively supported Bill Nelson who led the project and helped to secure the financial backing of the URC for the new development. She went on to become Chair of the Centre Management Committee after the building programme was complete and the Centre became operational. It was my great privilege to succeed her when she and Ronnie retired and moved out of London.
Irene was a smiling, positive influence in any undertaking she got involved with. She certainly ‘made a difference’ to many people in and around Ealing and will be sorely missed.