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Four decades of loyal service: commemorating Churchwarden Gwyneth Sampson

Gwyneth Sampson

“A more caring person you could never wish to meet”

A Churchwarden who is stepping down after 38 years of service is being celebrated for her hard work over the years.

Gwyneth Sampson first became Churchwarden at Holy Trinity Ulley in 1986 and has made an impact in the church and the local community during that time. From supporting church events, physically clearing the overgrown churchyard, representing Ulley at the local Council of Churches and hosting PCC meetings, Gwyneth has also become a lay reader during that time and her devotion to the village has been hugely invaluable.

Gwyneth has always enjoyed working with the younger members of the congregation, helping out with youth groups both in Ulley and more recently in Aston. She is invaluable support to Ulley’s family craft events, chatting and making the tea whilst quietly ensuring everyone is at ease and enjoying themselves. 

Here are some of the testimonies of people who know Gwyneth best:

Anne Whittaker

I first met Gwyneth in 1985 on Easter Sunday and since that day I have witnessed what an incredible driving force she has been to the Holy Trinity and the wider church community.

Her faith and devotion to her Christianity goes without saying. She has given her time and energy unstintingly to the church in Ulley, but also the village community, in a way that has retained the church as an integral part of the small village. From physically clearing the overgrown churchyard, church spring cleaning to writing insightful responses to diocesan reviews, there is nothing Gwyneth would ask of others that she hasn’t done herself.

Her decision to become a lay reader was invaluable to the continued viability of sustaining Holy Trinity as the lively church it is today. Her leadership as a Churchwarden has demonstrated her incredible devotion to the village and church in Ulley, without which I believe Holy Trinity would have come redundant many years ago.

Ray Atkinson

Regarding the toilet project (building a kitchen and toilet extension on the church), I remember meeting at our house one Sunday evening and spending 2-3 hours filling in an umpteen page document application to WREN over a bottle of wine which produced £12,700 towards the project.

When I rejoined ‘church’ about 30 years ago and joined Gay, who had been going to Ulley for some years, I remember being ‘scared’ of Gwyneth – believe it or not! I had never met her before and only heard Gay talk about her. She used to tell me about this woman, about her work in the outside world and how she completely ran the church at Ulley – doesn’t this sound ridiculous now! A more caring person you could never wish to meet.

Margaret Lovely

It is a great pleasure to write about Gwyneth and recall many memories over the last 40 or so years. She is a quiet and dependable friend and colleague, always supportive and ready for a chat, with helpful comments and is an excellent listener.

It was a great help being able to hold PCC meetings in her home and occasions like a harvest lunch would be part of her busy professional life. Christian Aid Week was important to her, as were bible discussions held in various homes. When the diocesan team were planning an outreach series of events, we somehow found ourselves having breakfast with Bishop David Lunn at Gwyneth’s home!

If you ever speak to Gwyneth on the phone she will ensure you have finished what you wish to say before putting the receiver down; not in a hurry to conclude the conversation.

Susan Grayson (writing to Gwyneth)

I remember you welcoming Dennis and I to Ulley Church when we moved into the village in 1989. We loved to be a part of the congregation. Over the years you have had many ‘roles’ in the church, all carried out with dedication. I would like to give you a huge THANK YOU for all your work and help.

Sue Hubbard

As a Lay reader Gwyneth was a constant presence both at Holy Trinity, Ulley, and at Christ Church, Swallownest, taking services and leading Worship, especially during times of Interregnum. She continues to be a shining example of a Light for Christ and we are all deeply grateful for her years of service and her love.  Gwyneth continues as a member of the PCC, we will make sure her retirement is a busy one!