Lyn was born 23 May 1923 over the family drapers shop in Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury to most caring Christian parents. Attending and confirmed at St. Julian’s Shrewsbury, she came to personal faith in Jesus as her Saviour during a campaign by evangelist Lionel Fletcher in 1939 (when she was 16). She became an enthusiastic member of Shrewsbury Fellowship of Christian Youth- started and run by her father (her mother was pianist). This was a local inter-church wartime venture, which was very successful in bringing service personnel to faith and in helping young Christians. It was there Ken and Lyn met in September 1941. He vividly remembers being handed the first of thousands of cups of tea by a girl with a red blouse, a gray skirt and an infectious smile. He was quite bowled over.
She had been educated at Priory School for Girls, then worked at the Post Office HQ until she was old enough to start nursing training in January 1942 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. On the wards she was nicknamed “Flash” because of the speed at which she worked - a facility she retained until an arthritic knee slowed her down.
It was about this time (1943) that in spite of her Anglican upbringing, she saw the need to be baptized as a believer. Ken and Lyn's romance is a long, long story. He did not declare his love for her till he was serving in Italy at the end of 1943. Should he write to her? Two things prompted him: A friend wrote recommending Phil. 4:8 “Whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely - think on that.” “That's Lyn,” he thought. The girl herself sent him a bookmark, “Ask and it shall be given you” So he asked and she was given. March 31, 1947.
They were married while Ken was a student at Oxford. Lyn was such a good listener that she became marriage guidance counselor to half OISCU. For much of the time they lived at Yarnton. then a small village (pop. 300) They started the first Sunday School there in 30 . Lyn was pianist, secretary and recruiting officer. Soon thirty 5-11 year-olds were all attending regularly.
Paul was born in Oxford, Ruth arrived in Derbyshire, where in spite of two young children, a 1-in-6 hill and the difficulties of a shared home, Lyn still found time and energy to be Campaigners Leader and Sunday School teacher. Many older Christians now at Belper Baptist church still appreciate the help they received from her then.
Southmead was the most demanding of all the places she lived. With the arrival of Joy she was now mother of three children. She was leader of a Primary Sunday School of 100. In addition she kept “open house” to young Christians from local churches and to some dozen Teddy Boys (a group of tough, black-coated, gang members in postwar Britain) and to a trail of broken people who knew they would find in Lyn someone who would listen to their problems
So coming to Devon was supposed to be a rest-cure. She still found people to befriend, young children in SS or Play Group - older people at the Day Centre, at Orchard Lee or in the Sunshine Hour. She made everyone feel important, and was always alert to some special need. She continued to smile and sing through her difficulties.
For most of her life, she enjoyed good health, but her final illness was a great test. She was still anxious for nothing and grateful for everything. She met every problem with courage and cheerfulness and always thought of others before herself. How did she achieve this? To be ready for anything- whether Teddy Boys or cancer? She had a strong rapport with young children and shared with them an uncluttered faith in the Lord Jesus.
Having traveled around so much, she collected scores of friends and part of her ministry was writing to them - young and old alike. Her friends, far and near, came again and again, to enjoy Lyn's hospitality to their home, “Berachah”, (which Ken and Lyn named after the valley in 2 Chronicles 20:26) . She made “Berachah” a “House of Blessing” to so many. She never thought of herself as a good cook but her meals were always wonderful, served so promptly that you could set your watch by the time grace was said.
She had a wonderful empathy with people who might not have been as bright, or for some reason may have felt dejected. It wasn't simply that she was a happy person. People say they felt “happiness” when she was around (certainly Ken did).
She loved bright colours, bright flowers and bright music - and the verses from Philippians 4 perfectly sum up what she believed. She found absolute delight in Jesus and the joy of her Lord became her great strength. She learned to rejoice in Him in ever situation and found immense contentment and pleasure in living for Him. This compete trust freed Lyn from the many problems and anxieties that may overwhelm other people.
Lyn took the promises of Jesus seriously and she depended on Him. She was full of gratitude and praise and she brought everything to the Lord in prayer and the Lord gave her the kind of inner peace that transcends all understanding.
Our thought and prayers are for Ken and his family at this time of loss. We shall all greatly miss Lyn because her Christlike radiance and joyful service for her Lord has wonderfully enriched us all.
Another part of her ministry was praying for others, not just in her local community, but throughout the world. Dr. Enid Parker of the Red Sea Mission Team will tell us briefly what an important ministry that was.