Parish of Leatherhead
Margaret Chapman 10th June 1928 - 8th November 2010

In Loving Memory of
10th June 1928 - 8th November 2010

St. Mary & St. Nicholas
Parish Church
Church Road, Leatherhead.
Thursday 25th November 2010
at 12.30pm

Service conducted by Canon David Eaton

Order of Service

Entry: Chi Mai - Ennio Morricone



Hymn: Morning Has Broken

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise forth; singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every' morning
God's recreation of the new day.

Reading: John 14: 1-6

Tributes: By Margaret's Grandchildren
& Canon David Eaton

Grandaughters Charlotte and Katie tributes:


On behalf of us all, we'd like to take a moment to express our thoughts and feelings about our wonderful Nana. She was so loving and extremely proud of all of her sons, daughters and grandchildren. She didn't judge or criticise and accepted each of us exactly as we are; supporting all of us equally.

We all have fond memories of Nana's big afternoon teas, bringing us all together as a family and I know she would be delighted to see us all here remembering her today. Everyone has their own special memories of Nana, for me it is trips to Wisley that stand out the most, and I find it comforting that we had such a lovely trip in the summer, a day I will always remember.


For me, I feel so privileged to have had Nana there on my wedding day. I blew her a kiss as I reached the end of the aisle and I will always be grateful to have captured that moment.

Nana will be dearly missed by all of those who were blessed to know her, and will be cherished in all our fondest memories. Although we were not lucky enough to meet our Grandpa; we can all be comforted by the thought that Nana has been reunited with her soulmate after their long time apart and that they now are watching over us together.

A poem, God's Garden, was read by Charlotte, grandson Michael, and Katie on behalf of all the grandchildren:

God's Garden
God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.

He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, 'Peace be Thine'.

It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

This poem was read by grandaughter Eloise:

To my dearest darling Nana,
Up in Heaven, high above,
I know today you're with us all,
And sending all your love.

Today we all remember you,
And bid you one last goodbye,
Celebrate the life you've had
And maybe have a cry.

You'll never be forgotten Nana,
I'll just close my eyes and see,
Your smiling face and feel your love
And you'll be close to me.

So dear Nana, up above,
Although you're no longer here,
In my heart is where I'll keep you,
Forever, you'll be near.

It was your time, the Angels came,
And placed you with the best.
So now you are with grandad
And all the rest.

Canon David Eaton - Margaret Chapman

We have heard some touching tributes to Margaret; may I add a few words of my own.

Margaret came originally from Lancashire. She was born in St Helen's the only daughter of Fred and May Owen. It was in St Helen's she grew up and went to school. Although in adult life she moved away from Lancashire she never entirely lost her Lancashire brogue.

She worked as a telephonist on leaving school and then in Boots the Chemist before joining the Women's Royal Air Force in December 1945. After initial training she was posted to Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. It was here she met her husband-to-be, Geoffrey Chapman. He was on gate duty one night and his first words to Margaret as she turned up to get back into camp were: "You're late!". This wasn't an obvious chat up line but it did the trick and I am sure that Geoffrey was grateful for that. As we can see from the photograph on the Order of Service Margaret was a very vivacious young woman and I guess Geoffrey wasn't her only admirer. Margaret left the WRAF in 1949 and she and Geoffrey were married in January 1951.

In civilian life Geoff was a herdsman so that most of their married life was spent living on a farm. They moved around a good deal; from Little Milton in Oxfordshire to Kimble; and then Swanbourne in Buckinghamshire to Green Street Green in Kent; but finally they came to Leatherhead and settled at Highlands Farm just above the By-pass in 1962.

Between 1952 and 1967 Margaret and Geoffrey had six children to whom we extend sincere sympathies today: David, Alan, Peter, Susan, and twins Helen and Paul. Also, as we have seen, many grandchildren and now one great-grandchild as well.Very sadly Geoffrey died prematurely in June 1976 just months after he and Margaret celebrated their Silver Wedding anniversary. It was in the autumn of the same year that Margaret and the family moved to Poplar Avenue where she was to continue living for the rest of her life.

Her energies went into bringing up her growing family which she did with much love and devotion; but also she became an active member of the local community. She a member of the support staff at both Woodville, as it then was, and Therfield Schools, as dinner lady and playground supervisor. She joined the WI and was a keen and active member of the Parish Church.

It was here I got to know Margaret although she had been in church life a good while before I turned up on the scene. She was a keen member of the Mother's Union, and was Secretary for a number of years to The Friends of the Parish Church in their invaluable work helping to maintain the church and churchyard. She also served as Churchwarden and in all this was a regular communicant; latterly at the 8 o'clock service and then, through Edith's good offices as Parish Visitor, at home when Margaret could no longer get out.

Margaret was a very likeable person. She was without side and entirely non-threatening. She had that ability to bring good judgement to bear on any subject because she was mature and sensible in her outlook. She had nothing to prove, and was always supportive and helpful. My guess is that Geoffrey's early death meant she had learnt to accept life's cutting edge and that, paradoxically, it brought out the best in her. She wasn't crushed or reactionary or cynical because she knew where her priorities lay. Her family testify to her unflinching love and support.

Margaret was a fine and unassuming person. The way she turned, what was originally a pretty barren landscape at Poplar Avenue, into a flowering garden and haven is perhaps a symbol of the way she lived and her life as a whole. It was an essentially Christian way of life because overcoming adversity, loving others before yourself, offering service and being faithful in prayer are at the heart of what it means to have faith and be true of heart.

She will be greatly missed and remembered with much love and affection. There can be no doubt that the hope of life eternal, to which we commit Margaret today, will be hers to enjoy. Jesus said: I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again to take you to myself. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

Time for Reflection: Skylark - James Galway (& Cleo Laine)

Words of Encouragement: Grieve Not for Me
Read by Peter Chapman

There are many sentiments and commendations that could be spoken about our Mother, my few words are but a glimpse of the reflection of her life. Margaret Chapman was a kind, loving, considerate and gentle lady who was always willing and prepared to help at all times. But more than this Margaret was a Mother to David, Alan, Susan, Helen, Paul and myself.

Our mum was a devoted wife to her eternal partner and Husband Geoffrey, who was a farmer for most of their 25 years of married life. We as children were blessed to witness such a happy, loving relationship. An example to all of us which created a family unity that is as close and strong today as it has always been.

Sadly, our Father died young in life in 1976 leaving mum with the responsibility of caring and tending to the needs of six children. Six very different emotional needs that she recognised and took care of with an incredible strength and understanding.

Mum was never judgemental but instead would encourage us to question ourselves and if we decided that whatever was right for us mum would support us and guide us down that path. One by one she embraced our partners in life, with the same love and affection that she had for us and with 14 Grandchildren and one Great Grandchild. The love that mum was able to share out seemed endless.

Clearly, between us we didn't allow mum much time to herself. But that that she did have she devoted to the Church, her dogs and her garden. And what a garden ... at home mum created a beautiful cottage garden fit for showing, that encouraged all manor of birds, insects and other wildlife to enjoy its magnificence. This is where mum would find her peace and enjoy her quiet moments ... this is where she was happiest. A day out at Wisley was a regular treat where she would enjoy what each season had to offer and would return home with memories and inspiration that she would bring to her own garden.

Mum displayed a selflessness and on many occasions declared that we owed her nothing and that she was entirely responsible to us and for us. In fact we owed her everything, both mum and dad gave us life, love and opportunity. The love that mum gave out, I believe, was maintained with the love that we all had for her.

We will all miss her presence but will enjoy her spirit and we all have cherished memories that will last forever. The following "Words of Encouragement" are indeed words that Mum would be saying:-

Grieve not for me
Nor mourn the while,
For happier would I be
To see you smile

Let no tears fall
Since I have passed away
But miss me and
Remember me each day

Live your lives
As I would want you to,
And treat your fellowman
As I would do.

And when the time has come,
Your lives be through,
I shall be waiting here
For each of you

Prayers: Prayers of Remembrance & Thanksgiving, Lord's Prayer

Hymn: Lord of all hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all Joy
Whose trust, eves childlike, no care could destroy,
Be these at our waking and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hand were skilled at the plane & the lathe,
Be there at our labours and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts Lord, at the end of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be these at our homing, and give us we pray,
Your love in our heart Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be these at our sleeping, and give us we pray,
Your peace in our hearts Lord, at the end of the day.



Closing Music: Hallelujah - Katherine Jenkins

There will now be a short Committal service for
Family & close friends at Randalls Park
Crematorium at 1.15pm

Margaret's Family would like you to join them for a
celebration of Our Mother's Life
at St Mary & St Nicholas Parish Hall opposite the
Church from 2pm

The Family would like to thank you all for the letters
of condolence & your support during this time.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Margaret's
favoured charity in her memory
Marie Curie Cancer Care,
Please forward via
c/o L Hawkins & Sons Funeral Directors
Highlands Road
Surrey KT22 8ND

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