Friends of St Paulinus Church, Crayford – Tribute to Irene Holloway
With much sadness the Friend’s learned of Irene’s recent passing and we send our sincerest condolences to her sons, Ed and Ben, and their families. We felt it appropriate to write a tribute that recognised and reflected her contribution to the Friends and the church.
Irene was a Friend of St Paulinus but also served on the Friends Committee for many years in an ex officio capacity because she served on, and chaired, the Fabric Committee. The two committees, one tasked with fundraising and the other tasked with spending the funds on the upkeep, preservation and improvement of the church for current and future generations to enjoy.
Irene was born in Crayford and lived locally all her life. This church, St Paulinus Church, had a special place in her heart and Irene considered it her spiritual home. St Paulinus is the church where many members of her past, immediate and wider family were baptised, married, were confirmed and are buried here.
It was her love for all aspects of this church, it’s people, it’s history, the buildings and churchyard that led her to become involved in the church community life even more so after Irene lost her beloved husband Ted.
Joining the Fabric Committee proved to be an outlet for Irene’s faith, skills and energy. Her role as Chair enabled her to put her vast management, project and administrative skills to great use in many restoration projects. Irene’s greatest achievement amongst the many projects she was involved in, I believe, was the substantial financial grant she obtained from English Heritage for the repair to the church foundations. I know this project took incredible dedication, energy and time to deliver but undoubtedly saved the fabric of the building from far more serious deterioration. We also worked together on the restoration of the Reredos and other smaller projects where her input was both welcomed and valued.
I joined the Fabric Committee to enable both committees to work more closely. I recall being very impressed at my first Fabric Committee meeting when Irene produced an array of chocolate snacks. Over time we developed a respectful and good working relationship that enabled the Friends to better understand the enormity of the restoration facing the church and thus ensure funds raised were spent effectively.
With regret we had to lose Irene as Chair of the Fabric Committee, a role she valued enormously. Her contributions will remain her legacy.
I have no doubt that whilst God thought it appropriate to call Irene to Him, He will be getting a real ear-bashing about what needs to be done to her beloved church, St Paulinus, and what He should do to help.
Rest in peace Irene. Thank you so much for your contribution to the Friends of St Paulinus Church.
ABx Friends Committee – Jan 20201