Changing lives

Today was a great example of the impact a faithful person can have. Today was the funeral of Mrs Enid Coggins at Thrapston Methodist Church and I was honoured to be able to conduct the service.

We have never seen this many people in that Church. The balcony had a new safety rail installed so we could use it and it was crammed full. Every pew was full to bursting. Plus we had set up a video and sound relay to the hall below the chapel. That was crammed full with every seat taken and lots and lots of people standing.

Enid was our organist at Thrapston and that was how I first met her, however, the impact of this faithful woman touched huge numbers of people through 30 years of teaching at Bishop Stopford School as well as in every other sphere of her life. We remembered the impact of her teaching today when two pupils read a poem one of them had written about Mrs Coggins. It is also remembered through three facebook groups created by students (present and former):

Something over 1,000 members of those groups at present. Amusing as Enid was not into computers at all.

Enid's love for people and her determination to help, support, encourage & definitely teach them has brought people together. At the service we had family members speak, we had prayers and thoughts from Sister Liz (a Catholic Nun who has been wonderful in recent months as well as an old friend from teaching one of Enid's step-daughters). Also from Rev Lesley McCormack (the parent of student who remembered Enid with love) a chaplain at the Hospice where Enid spent the last few weeks. We had a former pupil play the organ (he also played for their wedding 21 years ago in the same chapel) and a recital while the family went to the commital.  We had messages from childhood friends.

One of our readings was 1 Corinthians 13 and it seems to me that Enid is a great example of someone who has built a community through her love and loving service. Her love was robust and humourous, not weak or feeble and it built people up.

If you want to change lives then this is a life you could do well to copy, even then Enid would be the first to point you staright to Jesus and say copy him.

My grateful thanks to those who gave their time and help to make this service possible:

  • Pete for sorting out the sound (and congratulations on your engagement to Lucy)
  • Bishop Stopford School for the Orders of Service and the Video link to downstairs
  • Ray and Bessie Barratt & son David for all their work at the Chapel
  • Mark Pescott for playing organ and piano
  • Bod and David for the new path (concrete laid on Saturday, just in time).
  • All the other members of the Church for their help & support
  • All who took part in the service

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