Monday, June 20, 2011

Remembering Freda Head 1914 - 2011

Freda Head - Oct 2010 - Photo by JC
Tonight I received a phone-call to inform me that my Gran had died in her sleep this week. She was a remarkable woman. Sociable and sharp, always ready with a smile and often willing to the latest stories from her Grandchildren. She was a woman of strong faith and gave a lifetimes service to her local Methodist Church (Hailsham) through her own activities (a strong supporter of house groups and also editing the church newsletter for many years) and supporting her husband  in his church activities ( music and building maintenance until his death in 2000). In the last few years her age slowly caught up and she used the Methodist Recorder to keep a keen eye on Conference and all that those she knew, including me, were upto!

However the reason to blog about her is because she was a devoted Methodist who has shaped many peoples faith beyond their understanding. She was a regular attender at the annual Methodist Conference, regular reader of the Methodist Recorder and a remarkable hymn writer (one of which was featured in the special 'Encircled in Care' pack co-produced by MHA and the Connexional Team a few years ago). Her most visible contribution to the life of the church is represented in the current authorised hymn book - for she sat on the committee that created 'Hymns and Psalms', a hymn book used for the last 26 years throughout the UK and around the world.

Her hymns haven't lasted into the Hymn Book (due to be launched in two weeks time) so I hope you'll forgive a mild indulgence and a reprint of one of her hymns, number 357 in Hymns and Psalms

Your will for us and others, Lord,
Is perfect health and wholeness,
And we must seek for nothing less
Than life in all its fullness.

As Jesus dealt with human ills,
Your purposes revealing,
So may your servants in this day
Be channels of your healing.

For suffering bodies, minds and souls
That long for restoration,
Accept our prayers of faith and love,
And grant us all salvation.

So we would claim your promised grace,
Your presence and protection;
And, tasting now eternal life,
Press on toward perfection. 

Freda Head 1914 - 2011 
Sing to tune 'Solothurn'
   
So then a life of service to the church, hymns sung by people you've never met,a hymn book which some websites claim is one of the most popular of all time. Blimey the bar has been set high - and that is only the religious things she achieved in her 97 years!

(I know an obituary etc are on their way and will appear in the Meth Rec in due time)