The Parish of Burchetts Green

While Rev Dilys takes a break to celebrate her Golden Wedding, Rev Maurice Skinner writes…

Not goodbye I hope!

We have just said goodbye to the old £5 banknote in favour of lighter, more durable and water resistant ones. So far so good. BUT I hope that we will NOT say good bye to the great person on the reverse side, namely Elizabeth Fry.

She was a Quaker (1880-1845), and I admit I feel warm towards the Quakers, having lived with a Quaker family for four months at the outbreak of war in 1939.

Elizabeth Fry focussed her Christian concerns on those in Newgate prison whom she assisted with child education and basic needs. When the Emperor of Prussia asked Queen Victoria to be allowed to see inside an English prison, it was Elizabeth Fry who was asked to conduct him!

She spent nights in the prison, and was eventually entrusted with a key to enable her independent access.

Elizabeth also visited female prisoners being deported to Australia on prison ships, and campaigned for their human rights.

She travelled in continental Europe, putting the wretched plight of prisoners before monarchs and reformers.

Surely a very topical campaigner for a still very topical issues!

I think myself that the best part of Common Worship (CW) is the inclusion of heroic figures from a spread of Christian traditions. She is commemorated on October 12. Let's not say goodbye to her!

With prayers for the blessings of Eastertide and Pentecost. Maurice