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Bank Street Unitarian Chapel

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{jcomments on}Jennifer Whitelaw.

  On 19th December, 2011, at Chow Bent Chapel, Rev. Brenda Catherall conducted a beautiful and emotional funeral service for Jennifer Whitelaw, whose untimely death on December 9th came as such a blow to her relatives and her many friends. The packed Chapel was ample testimony to the love and esteem with which Jennifer was regarded.

World traveller, reporter, teacher, wit, faithful friend, preacher – none of these sufficiently describes a lady who affected all who knew her. Jennifer showed great bravery in that she carried on taking services throughout her illness – even up to her last visit to Rivington Chapel, when she was forced to preach sitting down. She is gone too soon, and she will be sadly missed.


When Veronica and I last saw Jen in Bolton Hospice, she was having one of her better days. The receptionist took us to her room, saying ‘You have a lady and gentlemen to see you!’ Quick as a flash came the reply ‘not a description I would give to either of those two!’ as we were greeted by a smiling Jennifer. We thought for just a moment that we had the old Jennifer back. How good that we were able to tell her that we loved her.


I can think of no more fitting tribute to Jennifer than these words from Ralph Waldo Emerson:


‘To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you lived; this is to have succeeded’.




Jennifer did!!


                                                                                                       Gordon Walker.




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