[ ← VIEW ALL (May 2024) ]

From St Mary’s

Thank you Kathleen

Kathleen Wilkinson has been a warden at St Mary’s for 27 years! Wow!

She has decided to take a back seat from this post after this year’s Annual Parochial Church Meeting, but is continuing to be our Church Warden Emeritus, with sacristan and verger duties. What an amazing lady! She has been interviewed to find out more abut her life in the church and St Mary’s.

Born in Sabden Fold, part of the Newchurch area over 80 years ago, Kathleen was baptised at St Mary’s at 4 weeks old (yes, she is on the Baptismal Roll) and has been part of the church since then. She walked to St Mary’s School daily, The children went to the old St Thomas’ School once a week to learn RI, the 3 vicars of the area taking it in turn to teach it, and attended Barrowford Secondary Modern, Rushton Street, leaving school at 15 to go as a weaver to Spen Brook Mill. In those days she attended Sunday church morning and afternoon, Sunday school twice a day, and evening church services on special Sundays. When she married she moved into an old cottage near where the toilets were later built, then to Osborne Terrace which had no toilet as there was no sewer there until 1967.She sang in the choir singing solos at times, when there were 3 rows of altos and 2 of sopranos sitting in the front 5 pews.

She was on the PCC from the 1950s. Imagine that- nearly 70 years on the PCC. She worked in Wheatley Lane Mill and then in Social Services, starting as a home help and ending up as a supervisor for Barrowford, Brierfield and parts of Nelson.

Upon retirement in 1996 Kathleen became church warden with Rev Norman Howard sharing the warden roles with Chris Widdas, for 21 years and said “ We never had a cross word-it worked really well.” At the Archdeacon’s Visitation that year there were only 3 women churchwardens- all the rest were men. Wardens were not allowed in the vestry in those days. Kathleen says that she still carries out many of the tasks she did then, keeping the church clean (not really a warden’s job) sorting out altar hangings, washing linen, arranging flowers and welcoming people but these days she helps set up for communion services, puts up hymn numbers does candles and does record keeping amongst other tasks. Warden when St Mary’s became part of the Benefice under Rev John Hallows round about 2002 she worked with Rev Julie Smith and Fr Paul Payton. If ever you want to know something about the area- where a gravestone is, who gave the piano to the church or what we do for the Rushbearing, Kathleen will know.

There is a lot more to tell about Kathleen but space will not allow. Did you know she has been on the Parish Council since Pendle became a borough, which we think is around the 1960s? She has a wide-ranging collection of newspaper cuttings about the area. What an outstanding record of witness to the church and the area. Thank you, Kathleen.

[ ← VIEW ALL (May 2024) ]