Burston Chapel joined with St Mary’s for Mothersday 10.30am 15th March

March 10, 2015 by  
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Burston Chapel joined with St Mary’s for Mothersday.  10.30am 15th March

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Funeral and Tribute of Mrs Joan Fisk

March 3, 2015 by  
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Joan has been a faithful member of our small congregation at Burston Chapel for over 20 years.  Having joined us for all the usual Christmas services and even a couple of Sundays into 2015, sadly, following a stroke and a short stay in hospital she died.  Her funeral service took place at Gissing Church, where a full congregation gathered.  Rev David Mill took the service and Pastor Sam gave the eulogy and preached the sermon.  Below is the eulogy that was read at her funeral.

Marjory Joan Fisk (or Joan as she was known to most of us) was born in Bromley, Kent, to Edward and Alice Wilkie.  Though circumstances were unclear, as a baby Joan was left on the front step of a nunnery and entered the care system.  At the age of 4 years old, on 7th Feb 1928 she was adopted by a man who she always referred to as her father a Mr Harold Philips.

Joan told a number of stories about her home life and other children she referred to as siblings.  One such “sister” amused us both.  This sister use to send her gifts for future occasions just in case she wasn’t around to send them nearer the time!  In the car on the way to Chapel Joan would update me when, in the middle of June, she had received a parcel in the post from this sister – not for the coming Christmas – but the one after that!

When the war came, as you can imagine, Joan got stuck into a number of things.  She did some work in a munitions factory and also joined the Auxiliary Transport Service (ATS). Having started a long career of voluntary work with St John Ambulance, she also entered a strictly regimented nursing training.  Her claim to fame was that she once appeared in a Pathe news reel drinking a cup of tea at a Salvation Army mobile kiosk amid scenes of a bomb-wounded London.  She has enjoyed many meals and cups of tea with the Salvation Army since.

In 1949 she joined the Womens Royal Army Corp. During her basic training she had a prominent role as part of a group of new recruits who refused to take part in drill practice on a parade ground that was thought to have been built on the site of military graves.  Their refusal was sustained and drill took place elsewhere.

At some point she went to Bagshot Park which is, of course, now the home of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.  In those days it was the regimental headquarters and depot of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.  It had a sign by the pond which read “Please do not walk on the water”.  She went there for religious instruction so that she could have a role in patterns of worship that were required from time to time.  This, apart from the Sunday school at a little Mission Church that she use to attend as a girl in Bromley, was to establish a life-long connection to the Christian Church.

It was whilst she was stationed up in Ripon, where she was working as a clerk in the pay office for the army, that she met Raymond Fisk.  He was in the Royal Engineers.  She left the Army when they married on 28th October 1950 and the newlyweds went to live in Norfolk, where Ray came from.  They lived 56 Snow Street, Roydon.

She is remembered by many for a keen love of fishing and a few people have commented to me how they remember seeing her on bike rides with fishing rods on board.

In 1952 children started to appear.  Eileen came first in 1952.  Then, a little later, Raymond.  For many years Joan attended St Remigius Church in Roydon.  She served a number of terms as Warden and Raymond was the Sexton.  Joan enjoyed singing and has always been found performing somewhere.  She sang in the choir in Roydon and as many of you will know, spent a number of years with the Waveney Choir.  She sang with many smaller groups over the years and also sang in the 5 Parish Choir in this benefice. (Winfarthing Group)

She had a number of jobs in the locality and got to know many people.  She was also well liked by the many dogs that she came in contact with too!  She and Eileen worked a few of those jobs together.  They worked at the Kings Head Hotel that use to be in the centre of Diss,  they worked together at a mushroom production facility, at Stanton and after she and Ray moved to Gissing from Roydon, at Gissing Crown.  Raymond sadly died in 1994 and is buried here in Gissing.  Joan moved to 1 Common Road, Gissing.

However, retirement was never going to be retirement for Joan.  When I became the Pastor at Burston Chapel in 1998 Joan was working at one of the charity shops in Diss.  After a bad chest infection one year, which led to a hospital visit, she decided to properly retire from working.  Well, that lasted about 2 months!  “I’ve got a new job Pastor” she would say.  Then after the next bad chest infection and the next hospital visit she would retire – again.  A month or so later she would be announcing another job.

Joan has always been very active.  For years she has been immersed in the work of the Royal British Legion, certainly a reflection of the gratitude she felt to an army that, having started with so little in life, had given her so much.  Amongst her belongings was found the menu of a Legion meal held at Diss Corn Hall in 1956.  She certainly knew how to commit to a thing.  She started off in the Women Section and was a standard bearer but then became a member of the British Legion, taking up the position as chairman a few times over the years.  She felt she should step down when she turned ninety.

I have often said of Joan that when she left the army, the army didn’t leave her.  Even at 91 she was still displaying her constancy.  She was still quite determined to join us on the Green in Burston for Carols before Christmas when it is always freezing cold and dark.  Her get up and go never got up and went!

Burston Wombles Join In With “The BIG SOUTH NORFOLK LITTER-PICK!”

February 27, 2015 by  
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This year the children from the Jamie’s Gang Club at Burston Chapel will be joining in with the “Big South Norfolk Litter-Pick” initiative which is run by the District Council.  After paperwork has been filled in and risk assessments completed we hope to be holding the litter pick sometime during May.

Jamie’s Gang happens between 5 and 6.30pm on Wednesdays during term time.  If you would like any more information please phone Pastor Sam or Ginni on 01379 741816.