Myrtle Baughen RIP Jan 2014

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undefinedA TRIBUTE from the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester Myrtle Baughen (pictured) wife of Michael Baughen, who was Bishop of Chester 1982-96 died on 2 January, aged 81. She had been ill with cancer for some time, but had a mercifully short final illness.

I attended the service of thanksgiving which was held on 8 February at St James, Clerkenwell in London, where Michael and Myrtle’s son, Andrew, is Vicar.  It was a joyful occasion, much enhanced by the presence of the All Souls Orchestra in which, on the day, Andrew himself played the French horn.

Tributes were paid by various people including, memorably, three of Michael and Myrtle’s grandchildren – one of whom was also playing in the orchestra.  Michael’s hymns completed the musical circle.

Partly due to a last minute illness affecting someone else, Michael himself spoke about Myrtle’s life, and their ministry together.  This was no easy task, but Michael overcame the emotion of the occasion to give the most wonderful tribute to Myrtle’s selfless and self-giving love, which all who knew her recognised.

A fund in memory of Myrtle has been set up, with the intention of improving the disabled access to St James, Clerkenwell, where Michael and Myrtle worshipped in retirement. Click Myrtle Fund for more information.

It was a privilege to sit next to Michael throughout the service, and to give the final blessing.  It was particularly good to recall the visit which Michael and Myrtle paid to the diocese last October, for the formal opening of our new Church House.

May Myrtle rest in peace and rise in glory!

+Peter

Pictured below, Myrtle with Bishop Michael in Chester