Saying goodbye to members of our family is never easy and although they are not moving far, we will miss Mary and Malcolm Cochrane, who have been at the heart of Shipton since 1972. They are very much part of our family. What started as a brief stay with Malcolm’s parents at Grove Farmhouse turned into nearly 50 years of life and service in the community.
In the church, in the playground, in the village hall and especially in their home at Grove Farm, they have given so much to generate community spirit by providing for the needs of all of us, from the young to the elderly. Whether we were teenagers at the youth club, encouraged to put on a formal dinner for our parents, or members of the Welcome Club enjoying a strawberry tea in their garden, we will remember their kind hospitality and the way they made us all feel special and valued.
Then there is the playground and the coffee morning. The playground has recently become an extension of school as children, freed from their ‘bubbles’, meet up there to enjoy the wonderful play equipment Malcolm helped to choose and install. The Monday Coffee Morning, which Malcolm and Mary started and organised, will be up and running soon after a long break due to the pandemic.
At St Mary’s, Malcolm dedicated much time and energy to its upkeep as well as the mission and ministry of the church. His service on the PCC and as Church Warden, as well as his support of the clergy over so many years had a great influence on the whole life of the Church.
Our goodbyes to James Burgis took many forms, from Prosecco and cake in church in Milton to Sunday lunches, final wine tastings and meals at local hostelries, perhaps reflecting his great knowledge of wines as well as the importance of his faith and his church.
James and Pat moved to Milton in the 1990s and quickly found ways to serve both the church family and the community. Pat volunteered a day a week at the day centre in Chippy before our Shipton Day Centre started. As part of the church family at St Simon and St Jude’s, Pat arranged flowers, cleaned and helped in so many ways behind the scenes. The lady chapel drapes, altar frontal and vicar’s vestments were donated in her memory.
Thanks to James and the other members of the committee of the Wychwood Day Centre, over the years hundreds of older people in the wider community have enjoyed friendship, wonderful meals and loving care from all the volunteers. James retired as Chair last year, but not before finding a new chair to take on the role.
Soon after they arrived, James joined the Parochial Church Council and soon became Church Warden at Milton, and then Treasurer, giving years of service dedicated to every aspect of church life. His total commitment to everything he does is an example to us all.
We have so much for which to thank Mary, Malcolm and James. Over the past year or so we have all become more aware of the importance of family and friends, and understand the need to be closer to them, to give and receive support. So, our farewells, though tinged with sadness, are also full of hope for the future. We won’t forget you. Thank you for all you have given and been to us. God speed and good luck in your new homes.