92 year old Beryl Meed honoured by Christian Aid
Tuesday 16th October 2018
Beryl Meed of Felsham Church in the Cockfield Benefice was presented with an award recognising 60 years of service to international development charity Christian Aid by Bishop Mike Harrison and Simon Snell, Regional Coordinator for Christian Aid.
Beryl was born in London where she married Harry, who later became a vicar and they were both involved in the Inter-Church Aid and Refugee Service, providing assistance to refugees in post war Europe in the 1940s. This later became the charity Christian Aid which works with people facing poverty and emergencies around the world. It was her husband’s enthusiasm for Christian Aid which encouraged Beryl to get involved. Harry and Beryl worked in parishes around the Rochdale area, and he and Beryl continued to support Christian Aid and inspire others to do so.
Since coming to Felsham over 30 years ago, she has worked as the local 'co-ordinator' for Christian Aid activities in the Benefice, encouraging people to carry out the annual House to House collection and other fundraising activities during Christian Aid Week in May each year. She herself has carried out house-to-house collections in Felsham Village until this year, as after a hip operation she has not been mobile enough to do so.
When asked what continues to inspire her, Beryl said that she is doing what her husband would have wanted, and she quoted from Sydney Carter’s song “When I needed a neighbour, were you there?”. She also thanked everyone in the Benefice who helps during Christian Aid Week in many different ways.
Presenting the award, Bishop Mike said “Having collected for Christian Aid for just two decades I am aware of how challenging it can be - whether it's a Doberman slamming into the door barking as the envelope is pushed through the letterbox, or some fairly dusty responses to requests. Beryl's tenacity in keeping on with this vital work of raising funds for so many more decades is therefore all the more remarkable and admirable. Christian Aid exist to support the poorest of the poor and to do so from an unapologetically Christ-inspired basis - and I don't think there is greater praise that Beryl could be given than that she is following her Lord's command and that in as much as she does this for one of the least of her brothers and sisters, she is doing it for Christ."
Revd Sharon Potter, Rector of Cockfield Benefice said “Beryl is a very modest person and wanted this award to be about Christian Aid and not about her. However, she is an inspiration in our benefice, not just in Christian Aid but in the way in which she lives her life as a Christian, she is always ready to support those who cannot help themselves, whether here at home or abroad.”
Simon Snell, Regional Coordinator for Christian Aid said "It was wonderful to have the opportunity to present Beryl with this award, signed by Amanda Mukwashi our Chief Executive. Through Beryl’s hard work over more than 30 years, all of the efforts the house-to-house collectors, and the generosity of local people, nearly £42,000 has been raised across the Benefice. Christian Aid relies on the commitment of thousands of supporters like her who give their time so generously to serve their ‘global neighbour’ in need. My prayer is that we will be inspired by her faithfulness.”