Carolyn Kinsman, 23/05/2017

Remembering with thanks

At Church Army we are incredibly grateful for each and every one of our supporters, for those that partner with us, pray for us, support us financially and remember us in their Wills.

At our offices in Sheffield we have a Book of Remembrance where we include a photograph and details of those who have left us gifts in their Wills and those where money has been donated in their memory, as a reminder of those who have faithfully supported Church Army and so we can give thanks for their lives.

Leslie Haughty


Leslie Haughty

24 February 1937 - 12 January 2018

Leslie joined Church Army training college in London in 1954, where he excelled, with one of his training reports noting:

"Leslie is a grand lad, and will make a first rate Church Army officer we need more rock like people of his calibre today."

Leslie was commissioned as a Church Army evangelist on 25 July 1957 and faithfully served Church Army until his retirement in 1995, just short of 40 years of ministry, His work included working on Church Army's itinernant mission vans, time at Christ Church, Bridlington, St Marys Green Street in Rochester and St Mary's Crewe. He also spent time working in one of Church Army's residential homes for young people in Debry and his last 10 year of ministry were spent as a prison chaplain at HMP Wymott in Leyland and HMP Birmingham. It is clear Les' ministry impacted many lives.

Leslie was married to Maureen and together they had three daughters, Faith, Rachel and Rebecca.

At Leslie's funeral donations were given to Church Army, in his memory, for which we are incredibly thankful.
Doris Knowles


Doris Knowles

5 May 1926 – 23 February 2017

Doris was bought up in a Christian home and in the war years went into nursing. She married young and had three sons but then tragedy struck when her husband, John, died of a stroke after 14 happy years of marriage.
Doris struggled with her faith after losing John but then met a lady who helped her find her way back to the Lord. Following this, Doris began working in the hostels. It was there she met and married Captain Len Knowles in 1968, who was, at the time, working for Church Army in Stafford Prison. Doris left her quite neighbourhood, with her 3 boys, to move in with Len in the hostel in Birmingham.
Doris had many colourful stories about life living in the hostels, including bricks being thrown through windows, threats of bombs and violence as well as many men battling with addictions and mental health.
The family moved from Birmingham to London and then to Hull where they spent 10 very happy years working in a hostel for 64 men mainly attached to a mental hospital. One of the more hair raising moments Doris would talk about in relation to their time in Hull was when one of the men set fire to his bed. After these years in Hull the family then moved on to Derby.
Doris wrote that when she looked back on their years working in the hostels and all the problems they had to cope with she knew she could not have got through it if God had not been with her and played such a big part in her life. She always thanked God for the work he gave her to do, as she was convinced it made her a better person and helped her to know Jesus more fully.

We are so thankful for the gift given in Doris' memory, enabling us to continue to share the good news of Jesus so that many others may know God working in their lives just as Doris did.

Godfrey Reid


Godfrey Reid

8 April 1945 - 9 February 2017

Godfrey was born in Manchester and after a brief spell in engineering started training with Church Army in Blackheath in 1966.

One of Godfrey’s first roles as a commissioned Church Army evangelist was on the summer beach missions and over the subsequent years he led many similar missions all over the country. Godfrey went on to work with the London and York Diocesan Missioners. In 1970 he joined a colleague working on the last remaining mission caravans in Northern Ireland. They lived on the caravan and every two weeks or so a farm would tow the caravan to another parish for a parish mission.

Godfrey went on to lead the mobile mission team known as the Flying Column, conducting missions, holiday clubs and training events in parishes all over the South of England.

In 1975 Godfrey was appointed as the Diocesan Missioner in Manchester where he and his family lived for 6 years before returning down south to live in South East London where Godfrey was appointed as Church Army’s Candidates Secretary, working with young people exploring a vocation to serve as Church Army evangelists.

Godfrey’s next job was Church Army Area Coordinator with responsibility for aspects of work in the North of England, where he was based in Wakefield. Six years later he then moved back to Manchester to become Church Army’s Regional Director for work across the North of England.

Godfrey’s final job prior to retirement was as a parish evangelist at St Mary’s Church, Eastham.

Godfrey was a husband to Vera, and then after her death, to Joan, father to Andrew and Philip, grandfather, family man and friend to many people. Godfrey is remembered as being someone never afraid to speak his mind, in Godfrey what you saw was what you got. He always had something to say, had a cheeky side to him and a variety of interests and concerns.

At heart, he was a caring and supportive person, a man of prayer with a real commitment and desire for people to know and serve the Lord.

We are so thankful for the gifts given to Church Army in Godfrey’s memory, to sustain the work Godfrey had been so involved in and so passionate about.
Frances Jean Bingham  

Frances Jean Bingham

Date of death - 14 April 2016

Frances’ children, John and Hilary, kindly donated some of the gifts given at their mother’s funeral, in her memory to Church Army, as for many years Frances’ mother, Mary Barrow, was a writer for the Church Army Gazette, under the pen name "Margaret Cheerful".

Frances’ father, Robert Barrow, was a Rural Dean, in Liverpool. Mary and Robert were missionaries in India before returning to work in England. Two of Mary’s brothers, Norman and Michael, were both ordained and were affectionately known in the church in Liverpool as "The Barrow Boys".

The Barrow family were great supports of the Church Army.

Grace Warren  

Grace Ivy Patricia Warren

August 1917 - 25 April 2016

Grace was born in Lewisham in August 1917, but her mother died of childbirth complications ten days later. Her father never returned from the war, so she was brought up by her maternal grandmother and her third husband who was a retired church missionary. She had a very strict religious upbringing, initially in London, then later in Gerrards Cross.
She worked as a civil servant, mainly in the Department of Work and Pensions, later becoming an Inspector. In 1943 she married Gordon who was nineteen years older than her. They never had any children. When he retired they moved to rural Surrey, where they had a smallholding and a large great dane who was almost taller than Grace. Gordon died in 1970 and Grace moved to Newbury to look after her Aunt Elsie. While in Newbury she worked as a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Death. She later moved to the Bridport area where she died, aged 98.

Trevor Arthur Wright  

Trevor Arthur Wright, JP

14 July 1921 - 12 October 2016

Trevor was born in 1921, the third of four children, to his parents, James and Elsie, who worked for Church Army, running homes for the homeless. After school Trevor spent a few years working in accountancy until he was called up to the RAF during WWII. Following the end of the war Trevor returned as a teacher and spent the rest of his working life in education, in one way or another. On retirement he continued to serve as a magistrate as well as other volunteer roles including work with the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Trevor’s family lovingly remember a man who loved to learn new things and see new places, who loved to cook, to learn and to write. They recall an unassuming and humble man who put people first, would always listen to others and always encouraged people to fulfil their potential and to never let failure have the last word.
Trevor pursued justice, but with compassion, guided by his strong Christian faith. He was kind, patient, gentle, faithful and loving, and a much loved husband, father and grandfather.


John Benson


John Benson

1906 - 1975

John grew up in Consett, County Durham. He worked as a coal miner for a brief time and in the community he made his mark as a footballer, cricketer and ambulance worker. After the arrival in his parish of a Church Army Captain he felt called into the Church Army himself and in May 1929, aged 22, he left his home town to train as a Church Army Officer. John was commissioned in 1930 and was sent to St. James Church in Willenhall, near Coventry. It was here that he met his wife to be, Gladys Woodall.

John was posted to Arborfield as a lay chaplain to the forces in 1939, assisting the chaplaincy with the many conscripts of that time. In 1944 he took the first Church Army Mobile Canteen onto the Normandy beaches. He served as a Church Army Officer with distinction with the British Forces in Normandy, Flanders, Arnhem and Paris.

John and Gladys also had two children Mary, born in 1938, and Terry, in 1942.

After the war he went on to serve as Men's Warden at the training college then in Maiden Erlegh, followed by Men's Candidates Secretary in London and then in the Men's Parochial Department during the 1960s. In 1970 he looked after the retired Captains and Widows during his final year of service until retiring in 1971 after 41 years of service.

Everywhere he went people got to know his heart and so many spoke so well of him, he was a witness to Christ through his life whether on the football pitch, or serving hot tea and providing blankets to weary soldiers retreating from Arnhem during the war, through all his Church Army service and to his family and grandchildren. John died when Carol, his granddaughter was only 15, but she recalls him sharing every Saturday with her and her brother throughout their childhoods showing them such love and joy. Carol believes it was her grandfather’s input into her life and the memory of him, that helped lead her to come into her own faith some years later. In his memory Carol thinks of Church Army and thanks the Lord for John, her grandad.


Mary Elizabeth Hughes


Mary Elizabeth Hughes

January 1938 - May 2016

Mary started her career as a secretary, travelling to the Church Army Headquarters, then in Blackheath, commuting on the train with her father, a Church Army captain, the late Captain John Benson. Later she married and took part-time jobs whilst her children were young, returning to full-time work when they were old enough. Her family remember Mary as a wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother and daughter. She always gave of her time and love to her family, and as well as caring for her mother Gladys Benson until Gladys’s death in 2006, she worked tirelessly and reached the top of her career as the PA to the head of Easthampstead Park in Bracknell, Berkshire, having to retire in the 1990s due to her own health. She was always reliable, helpful, hardworking, caring and a shining example to all who knew and loved her and, she is deeply deeply missed.
Mary’s children John and Carol kindly arranged for donations made in her memory, at her funeral, to be given to Church Army.
Irene Cooper


Irene "Rene" Grace Cooper

April 1921 - 11 November 2015
Rene was born in Southwark in London, not long after her father had returned from France, following the end of WW1, and as a result was named Irene, meaning peace. Sadly Rene's mother was in poor health and from the age of 16 she cared for her over the next 35 years. Rene worked as a secretary for Prudential throughout the Blitz, often walking to work through the ruins and broken glass of the previous night's bombing.
Rene met her husband, Jim, through his sister, Daisy, and they married in 1943. Following the war Rene and Jim realised they could not have children of their own and went on to adopted Alan, Geoff and Ruth from the Mission of Hope, a home in Croydon, for unmarried mothers. As her children grew older Rene spent many years in a job she loved as a medical secretary and receptionist in South East London.
Rene sadly lost Jim in 1989.
Rene was a faithful and cherished friend to many, enriching and steadying many friends and neighbours, through rough times, with her quiet and practical friendship and wisdom. Her family also remember a feisty and witty side to Rene.
Rene always had an interest in the work of Church Army and one of her proudest moments was accompanying her son, Alan, a Church Army Captain, to Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE from the Queen.
Rene lived a quiet life, as a mother, an active, practical Christian and a steady friend and through her example to others, many lives were touched and changed for the better. 

Rene's family kindly arranged for donations made in her memory, at her funeral, to be divided between her favourite charities, which included a gift to Church Army. 
Patricia Saunders OFlynn   

The late Patricia Saunders O'Flynn

27 March 1919 - 24 August 2015
At the time of her death Patricia was the oldest surviving triplet in the country. Her father had served as a Chaplain to the Forces during World War One and their family were very well known throughout Cornwall, particularly for supporting young or struggling clergy. Their home was an open place of welcome and acceptance and Patricia’s home remained such a place until the end of her life.

Patricia trained as a teacher working all around the country, including in Clevedon and London, but finishing off her working life in Truro, Cornwall. She is remembered for paying particular attention to those students who found learning more difficult.

Patricia had a lot of friends, was always very social and a great hostess, adding a stimulating, enjoyable and entertaining dimension to the lives of those around her.

As Patricia was always involved in church life throughout her years she was always a great supporter of Church Army especially because she had a close friendship with a Church Army evangelist and she therefore asked that at her funeral instead of flowers donations be made to Church Army.

Barry Newman  

The late Ian "Barry" Newman

26 September 1930 - 2 March 2015
Barry was commissioned as a Church Army evangelist in 1957, following National Service with the RAF, and had a varied ministry until his retirement in 1997, in the early days working on the mission caravans and spending time in the hop picking ministry. He was stationed all over the country in different Church Army roles, including Cornwall, Hull and Whitney in Oxfordshire. Barry was also for a time a lay chaplain for the Air Training Corps.

In the late 1960s Barry took a break from Church Army to run a shop but in the early 1970s was approached to take on a fundraising role for Church Army, which he did, and during this time he regularly preached in surrounding churches.

Barry’s wife, Mary, was asked by Church Army to take over the running of Beckonscot, the world’s oldest and original model village in Beaconsfield, which Church Army has an interest in. Barry eventually took over this role from Mary until his retirement.

Barry is remembered by his loving family as a larger than life character who touched the lives of many – a fun, warm and loving man. Given Barry’s close involvement with Church Army his family very kindly asked people at his funeral to donate to Church Army in his memory.

Peter Dawes  

The late Peter Dawes

Died: 2015
Peter was born in Derbyshire but soon moved to the South Coast when his father, a Church Army Captain was moved to a new post. When war broke out Peter was moved to stay with an aunt in Royston, further away from the anticipated bombing.

Peter was called up for National Service, joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving most of his time in Egypt, but yet never seeing the pyramids! He then returned to live in Royston working on the railways, where he got to know his future wife, Peggy. Peter and Peggy married in 1957 and had four children together, Martin, David, Rosemary and Norman. Peter eventually left the railways going to work for Johnson Matthey in the packing and dispatch area.

Peter is remembered by his family as being solid as a rock, dependable and caring, with a commitment to strong Christian family values. At his funeral people were kindly asked to give donations to Church Army in Peter’s memory
Rev CG Payne  

The late Cyril Payne

Died: December 2014
Cyril was ordained in 1955 and served his first curacy at Holy Trinity, Southall, which was his first introduction to the work of the Church Army as several Church Army people were living and working within the parish.

In 1958 Cyril and his wife, Shelah, moved to Christchurch when Cyril was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of St Mary’s Church on the large Somerford estate which had been built for the workers and their families of the new de Haviland aircraft factory. It was during this time that Church Army’s “Flying Column”, transformed the life of the church with a 2 week mission, as their enthusiasm and faith inspired so many. In 1963 Cyril and his family moved to Otterbourne, near Winchester, to work in the parish there and again came into contact with Church Army people.

Over the years Cyril came to realise only too well what an input Church Army had given to the life and faith of each parish he had worked in. So on moving to All saints, Milford on Sea, Cyril asked the Bishop of Winchester if he could have a curate to work alongside him and whether he could ask the Church Army for help in this. Cyril worked with two different Church Army officers during his time in that parish.

Given his strong connections with Church Army Cyril’s wish was that part of the retiring collection at his funeral should be donated to Church Army, as a small token of gratitude for all the support and encouragement they had given him and so many parishioners over so many years.

Carolyn Kinsman, 23/05/2017