Parish of Leatherhead - Mary Barnes 1930-2010


Funeral Service for


27 September 1930 - 19 March 2010

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Order of Service


O Love that wilt not let me go


Job 19 vv. 23-27
Stella Peake

PSALM 23 (said by all)

John 14 vv. 1-7,12
Arthur Pink

For the beauty of the earth

Revd. Mary Cruddas

It is in the midst of Holy Week that we gather to give thanks for the life of Mary Barnes, to comfort each other in our loss and to look forward, in hope, to a glorious future. Like Holy Week, the funeral of a loved one evokes many contrasting feelings, and thoughts. It is a time when the past, present, and future come together and we are reminded that we are caught up in eternity. Mary lived within the rhythm of the Anglican Church year since her childhood. She lived with the knowledge of a “love that would not let me go”.

I only caught a glimpse of the Mary that most of you knew and loved well. I am grateful to Sheila, Margaret and Rosalind, Mary’s good friends, for sharing with me their memories, and affection for her.

Mary was born in Alresford, in Hampshire. She was baptised, confirmed, and married in Alton Parish Church, that carried the same dedication to All Saints as the church in Leatherhead, where she served for the greater part of her life. She became firm friends with Audry there, a friendship that endured to the end of her life.

The onset of the Second World War allowed Mary to discover and use one of her gifts – singing. As the Church choir became depleted, the men being called up to serve on foreign fields, women were for the first time admitted to the choir. She remained in the choir after the war and spread her wings further, joining the local operatic society. Mary also discovered leadership potential in herself when she joined the guiding movement, rising through the ranks to become company lieutenant and being awarded the Queens Guide Award. Her commitment to Guiding continued through her involvement with the Third Leatherhead Guide Company and in retirement with the Trefoil Guild.

Mary worked in the offices of a local accountant and brewery until a young man, working for the Industrial Christian Fellowship, started worshiping at her church. Mary married Norman on a bright summer day in 1959, and then moved to Kingscroft Road, where they set up home together. In Leatherhead, Mary joined Norman in worshiping at All Saints, and contributed a great deal to the life of the Church. She served faithfully as sacristan, taking particular pleasure in the attention to detail required of the post holder.

Mary became an active member of the Mother’s Union, joining the Leatherhead branch in 1960. Her leadership skills emerged again in 1986 when she took over from Joan Corteen as branch treasurer, later becoming Deanery treasurer. Her faithful service was recognised by the MU when she received the Long Service award for 40 years service. She also put her skills to use as planned giving recorder, a role that required discretion, as well as precision.

Mary was a quiet and private person, and only after a while did I discover the range of her gifting. She was a competent pianist, and played at All Saints Church. She loved dancing, and drew Margaret into her country dancing class. She was active in supporting the Queen Elizabeth Foundation, drawing Rosalind into working into the QEF shop.

When Norman died in 1981, her friends at All Saints, and her faith, sustained her. She did not learn to drive, but I am told that her map reading skills were second to none, defying all assumptions that women can’t read maps. Mary delighted in the natural world, and it was in her later years that she discovered a kindred spirit in Alan Wheeler. They developed a firm and supportive friendship. Alan wanted to be here today, but his disabilities prevented him from attending and this service is being recorded for him. Mary was a frequent visitor to his home, friends driving her in recent times, as she became more frail.

Mary in 2002
source: Rosalind Corteen

My memory of Mary was of a gentle lady, who read the lesson calmly and beautifully. Her whole demeanour was of a quiet confidence. I had no idea, until quite recently, that she was battling with cancer.

Mary had no close relatives but she experienced the joy of fellowship in God’s household. She had many sisters and brothers in Christ. Our reading from John’s Gospel finds Jesus with his closest friends on the night before his death. We will re-enact the last supper tomorrow night in this church. The reading is part of the farewell discourse where Jesus shows the full extent of his love and reassures his disciples, that although he will soon be out of their sight, they will not be out of his thoughts and plans. Lest his disciples fear that only the well connected will enjoy a future in the life of God, Jesus explains there is a place of peace with the Father for all who long to be with him. How will they know the way to this place? Jesus says “you already know the way because you know me”. Eternal life, the life of God, starts with a relationship with Jesus in the here and now of daily life. The relationship that the disciples enjoyed with Jesus will continue beyond his death, through the Spirit. What is more, that relationship will continue beyond their death as well, by the same Spirit.

One of Mary's friends says “What a wonderful world if all had her quiet but strong faith.”

Mary enjoyed a life long relationship with her God. That relationship was nurtured through Bible reading, prayer, worship and fellowship. It is a relationship that will now come to fullest expression.

Job, in our reading longs for a face to face encounter with his redeemer and expresses his hope in strikingly beautiful poetry. Jesus answers Job’s longing and makes that encounter possible. Jesus through His death and resurrection opens the way to the father.

Finally Jesus makes that remarkable statement, that whoever believes in him will do the works that he does, and in fact greater works than these because he is going to the Father. Through the Spirit God’s work is carried on by Jesus disciples across the globe and down through the centuries. Mary and her sisters and brothers in Christ are part of those greater things for they share the love of Christ in very real and tangible ways.

Mary’s friends were a blessing to her. They were there for her when she was recovering from a broken hip in St Helier hospital. They were there when she struggled to find her feet again after returning home. They shared home communion with her. One faithful friend sat by her bedside during the last hours of her life.

Mary was also a blessing to her friends. She will be greatly missed. We say farewell to her in the knowledge that her greatest, most faithful friend, has made preparations and is expecting her.


The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended


Walford Davies sung by Choir

The Committal will follow at the graveside.

Everyone is warmly invited to refreshments in the
Parish Church Hall
opposite after the service.

Donations to the
Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton
may be made via the plate as you leave the church,
or sent to L. Hawkins & Sons Ltd.
Highlands Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8ND
(cheques to be made payable to the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign)

The Revd. Mary Cruddas

Mr Peter Holt

from the May 2010 parish magazine
Mary Barnes Mary grew up in Alton, Hampshire, an active member of All Saints' church there, a member of the Girl Guides, and later of the local Operatic Society. She moved to Leatherhead in 1959 on her marriage to Norman Barnes, who died in 1981. She attended All Saints Leatherhead from her marriage until her death, where she was the Sacristan and sometimes played the piano or even had a go at the organ, along with other things that needed her assistance.

Mary was an active member of the Mothers' Union; she was given a long service award for over 40 years service. She also was the Treasurer for the branch and later became the Deanery Treasurer.

Some time after Norman's death Mary became friendly with Alan Wheeler from Ashtead, and enjoyed many holidays with him before he became less active. They had met while sharing the voluntary job of preparing teas for the residents of Victoria House, formerly in Epsom Road.

Mary was a quiet and private person, and a loyal friend to many. She had a deep faith, and we can rejoice in the knowledge that she is now in the presence of her Lord and Saviour. Sheila Sutherland Rosalind Corteen

If you have more photos of Mary or further remembrance to add, please contact Frank Haslam, the editor of these pages.

return to Remembrance home page

page last updated 1 May 10