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Tuesday 6 January – banners in Loughborough

Tuesday 6 January – banners in Loughborough
January 10, 2015 Linda Crossley

This first full week of 2015 sees me driving a lot, rather than travelling by train, my default mode these days.  As Margaret Williams’ employment as MWiB administrator came to an end on 31 December, we needed to move from Margaret’s house the records, documents and equipment that made up a substantial home office.  I delivered some of these this evening to Liz Marriott (I often used to wonder why God had placed both Liz and Margaret in the same town of Loughborough!) and will keep some of them here for sifting and evaluating.  But most of today was spent with Margaret, literally taking over the records of her work for Women’s Network and MWiB over more than 5 years.

Margaret’s leaving has been a long goodbye, from a presentation of gifts and flowers at Forum in September, via giving up her front-line role as MWiB’s central administration contact at the end of October, to her final 2 months when she has trained her successors in different aspects of her work, sorted and classified much of MWiB’s and Network’s archive material ready to transfer for safe keeping, and completed the accounts for 2013-14.  Throughout that time, she has continued to work with commitment, right up to today.  When the focus should have been on giving Margaret a “good ending” to her time with us, she had still made arrangements to show me the banners made when the World Assembly (of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women) was held in Loughborough in 2001.  I am very grateful to her for giving me that opportunity, which I probably would never have had otherwise. 

The banners hang now in Trinity Methodist Church – high above the heads of even Margaret and me!  Margaret tells me that individual women attending each embroidered a 6″ square of fabric as a mini-banner about themselves; the fabric was in the colours of the rainbow, as you see, and each colour includes an area of the world, in WF terms.  It was too high up for me to make out many of the names, but I did spot pieces by Maureen Young, now WF area vice-president for Britain and Ireland, and Angela Macquiban, lately MWiB Forum rep for East Anglia district.  More wonderful artefacts telling part of the story of the women’s movements in the Methodist Church around the world.  Linda