Seventh-day Adventist® Church

Stanborough Park Church Compassion : Love : Generosity


Lockdown News #23 APRIL 2022

Posted on 11 May, 2022

  • Easter Services at the Church
  • Baptismal Candidates for the 30th April Baptism
  • Deaths of Rachel Surridge, Denver Annable and Nan Tucker
  • Church Matters 1: Announcements and Information
  • Church Matters 2: Recent church decisions and updates
  • Who Was Agnes Poulton?
  • The Stanborough Park Church Story 2: the first church minister
  • Letter From South Korea 3 and The Final Word
  • Appendix: Denver Annable’s Life History (and additional Easter Service photos)


The Easter Service saw the platform enhanced with lilies donated by members as a gift for family and friends raising the sum of £550 for ADRA and with their association with calm and peace added to the atmosphere. At the end of the service, they were given to their intended recipients whose names were recorded on cards displayed on the wall nearby.

The service was well-attended with the church around 70% capacity. The sermon was given by former SPC Youth Minister, Pastor David Neal, a former editor of the Messenger and now the new TED Director of Communications.

PARALLE.L @ EASTER - To celebrate Easter, there was a special time of worship with Communion and an Easter Bible Promise Hunt followed by a soup and rolls lunch. Participants spoke positively about the special atmosphere during the service.

PARALLEL IN THE PARK - starts the month of May through to September (weather permitting). If it’s dry then it’s in the park. All are welcome to stay on for a picnic where we can enjoy each other’s company. In the event of wet weather, we will meet in the Cedar Sycamore room. Service continues to start at 11am. 


Micah Bean
I had been living life my way for the past 10 years. I could get everything I wanted and do anything I wanted. But I could not find happiness, love, or joy in anything, even after travelling around the world.
Last September I decided to give my life to Jesus. Since then, I’ve found happiness, and love for life that I’ve never known. I used to not know why I was sad, but now I don’t know why I’m happy. I want to follow Jesus’ example and be baptised into my new life.

Karen Guanzon
I am called to do this; this decision of mine being baptised is not only because I want it to but because God wants us to. I can personally say that there is a big difference in my life with and without God in it. I feel loved and protected, protected that even when faced with uncertainties I know He will always be there. I believe that a life with God is a life that is fully lived, it may not be always as what we want it to be, but we know it is a life that He prepared for us. To live a life with God is to live and do things according to his commandments and to do it with great love towards His creation and great faith that one day He will come back again.

Lucy Davis
I’ve always been close to God throughout my whole life. However last year I went through a difficult time with my health, causing me to be in a lot of pain which meant I struggled to attend school. But even when I was at my lowest, I could feel the presence of God and through his grace my health has improved a lot since then. It has shown me that even in my worst moments I still have a God who loves me and can get me through situations I think are impossible. I am indebted to him, and I want to spend the rest of my life with such a wonderful loving father.



It is with deep sadness we report the deaths of DENVER ANNABLE who gave so much behind-the-scenes service to this church, NAN TUCKER a former teacher at Stanborough School (both primary and secondary) and RACHEL SURRIDGE the wife of former SPC minister Pastor Ron Surridge (who died at the end of last year) and during the 1970’s was a teacher at Stanborough Primary School.

  • The funeral of Mrs. Surridge occurred on 4th May at the West Herts Crematorium with a memorial service at Grantham Church later that day to enable members in both locations to pay their respects.
  • Denver Annable’s funeral was held at the church on 14th His practical contribution behind the scenes will be greatly missed. A life sketch produced by daughter Yvonne and read by Brian Davison is reproduced in the appendix; an abridged version of Brian’s eulogy given is included in the main text.
  • Miss Nan Tucker was a much-respected teacher at Stanborough School for 30 years. Many ex-pupils will remember her fondly. The editor would love to hear any memories of her from former pupils to include in a future edition of this newsletter - email them to Her funeral will take place on Thursday, 26th May 2pm at Stanborough Park Church followed by a service at the crematorium.


  • DEATH OF MRS. RACHEL SURRIDGE (died 6th April) (obituary reproduced with permission from the BUC web site)

Rachel will be remembered by some of the older members as the wife of Pastor Ron Surridge, a former Senior Minister at Stanborough Park Church, and by others as a teacher at Stanborough Park Primary School. The family lived in Widgeon Way on the Meriden Estate. It is thought that she would have been an SPC member between 1971 and 1977. She died in her sleep on 6th April.

Rachel Norma Phillips was born on 6 September 1928 in Kisumu, Kenya. She was the second surviving child of Ernest and Lilian Phillips, who served as missionaries at the time (see Lilian died of malaria two years later, and the Phillips family returned to England.

Ernest began a career as a lecturer at Newbold College, and Rachel was brought up in an academic environment. She was musically gifted and trained as a teacher. Rachel met Ronald Surridge at Newbold, and they married on 12 August 1952. The couple lived in Washington DC for five years while Ron completed his studies, and during this time, Rachel worked as a secretary to help make ends meet.

Ron and Rachel's first son Robert was born in America, and their second son John was born two years later when they returned to England. In 1964 the family moved to West Africa, and in both Nigeria and Ghana, Rachel ran small mission schools. On their return to England in 1969, Rachel worked as a teacher, firstly in the state sector but later at the newly built Stanborough Primary School under the headship of Faith Poley.

When Ron was called to serve as President of the North British Conference, Rachel served as his secretary for six years before returning to teaching at the Dudley House School. Before retirement, the couple moved to Newbold College, where Rachel spent an enjoyable year working with Dr Borge Schantz in the Islamic Centre before returning, once again, to teaching, this time at Newbold Primary School.

Rachel and Ron enjoyed nearly three decades of active retirement, visiting many different churches, taking foreign holidays, and visiting family members in England and California. In January 2021, physical frailty and the Covid pandemic led to Rachel and Ron being admitted to care homes in Grantham. They transferred to Watford and were well looked after, but Rachel lost some of her sparkle following Ron's death in November 2021. She died in her sleep on 6 April 2022 and will be greatly missed by the three generations of her family members. Her funeral and memorial service were scheduled for 4th May.

  • DENVER ANNABLE died 5th April, 2022 aged 84

For many Denver’s name will only be known as being included in the Prayer List. Whilst he may not have been the oldest member he certainly qualified as the longest-attending member as he spent his entire 84 years living within easy walking distance of the church and had never worshipped regularly anywhere else.

The family ‘set up camp’ in the lower corner of the north side of the central balcony around five decades ago where he served as a deacon at the adjacent doorway, doing so until just a few weeks before his death.

However, this was certainly not his only contribution to church life for, unlike many, his name is written large on the walls of the church! If you enter The Stanborough Centre through the main entrance, to your right above the screen you will see a plaque commemorating the opening of the centre and the fact that he chaired the committee that brought it about.

Denver was the first to confess his lack of academic skills but his excellent technical skills meant that he was familiar with every bit of hidden equipment that helps to keep the church running smoothly. His place on the Church Site Management Committee over the years was a foregone conclusion. Current Chairman, Bernell Bussue, tells how Denver explained to him the workings of the various pieces of equipment and was always the first person he called when something went wrong. He says that he will certainly miss his contribution to the committee. According to his family “He loved buying tools and could always find a use for or an excuse for buying another, newer or better one.” 

“Denver’s life was very deeply wrapped up in the life of the church.  He attended church faithfully every week and joined in with many church activities. Although Denver never liked to be up at the front, he has, over the years, been involved in many aspects of church life.  He was a deacon for many decades, faithfully standing on the door in the gallery, with the family sitting alongside on the front pew.  Even on the 19th March, the last Sabbath he was well enough to attend church, he was faithfully there as deacon on the door. 

“As his confidence with building projects grew, he was more and more involved in the maintenance of the church building itself.  Serving on the Management Committee and being very heavily involved in the church extension which has given the church the Stanborough Centre and extra Sabbath school rooms which we can now not imagine living without,” his family asserted in the life sketch produced by  Yvonne and read by his friend Brian Davison at the funeral. (The full text can be found in the appendix.)

 “Denver has always been an active man enjoying hockey for many years especially with Pete and Pat Walton.  More than 40 years ago Denver and Brian Davison started playing badminton together. Denver really got into playing badminton and has continued playing ever since. Even losing his right eye couldn’t stop him and he continued playing until January this year.  Denver has also kept up a tradition of walking with his ‘walking friends’.”

He will be remembered by his wife, Lorna, children, Yvonne, Kelvin, Graeme and Rachel and grandchildren, Chiemi, Miyuki, Hisayuki, Millie, Ella, Daniel, Josh, Theo, Oliver and Archer as a “good man who was kind, calm, loving and always faithful to his Lord,” asserts his family.

  • His funeral can be viewed on both the church web site and YouTube channel.


Written by Brian Davison and read by him at his funeral.

There has been, and will only ever be, one Denver Annable. He was unique! Often in life, it is not that difficult to identify the personality and characteristic traits of an individual…… but Denver… he was something else!!!

Over the years, as I gradually got to know and understand the complexities of Denver’s personality and character, I began to realise that he was blessed with many talents although I am not sure he always recognised his worth. From time to time he would remind me of his dismal scholastic achievements and then I had to remind him of many of his lifetime accomplishments. Denver was a practical man and was always willing to put his talents to effective use, especially in the Lord’s service.

Over the last few days, as I have thought a lot about Denver and his life, a verse of scripture and a song have come to mind which I believe beautifully sums up his life and his connection with His God.

The ‘New Living Translation’ of Psalm 84: 10 says “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked” … and the song? This song was one of many that Denver loved during those family camp years that we enjoyed at Aberdaron every summer, “Make me a servant, humble and meek. Lord let me lift up those who are weak, and may the prayers of my heart always be, make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant today.”

That scripture and song to me, defines Denver’s life. If he wasn’t at home, invariably he was round the church, sorting out an issue that no-one else could or was prepared to solve.

Just four weeks ago, I found Denver, who knew that he had just a few weeks left to live, fulfilling his role of a deacon upstairs, standing patiently by the door with the offering basket, taking the offering as people left the service.

Perhaps his greatest achievement as a servant of Stanborough Park Church was when he chaired the Development Committee as it masterminded on behalf of the members the building of the Stanborough Centre. I had the privilege of serving on that committee and we were not an easy committee to chair. Many of us were strong minded individuals and so often during animated debates, Denver would suddenly put his hands up and say “whoa, whoa, whoa ...order please, order!!” Denver not just chaired the committee, but week after week, Denver was on that building site, up on the scaffolding, down in the boiler room or wherever, examining the work that was being done to make sure it was done to the quality expected by him of the builders.

Yes, Denver enjoyed serving in the background and shunned the limelight. Yet, uncharacteristically, Denver would occasionally take the stage if he felt impressed to do so.

While in Norfolk together last September, Denver was keen to attend the Kings Lynn church on the Sabbath we were there. It was Communion, and at the end, opportunity was given for anyone to give a testimony. Up jumped Denver and testified of Gods goodness of bringing him through his eye operation and with the diagnosis of being free from cancer.

God obviously had other plans of which we were unaware of at the time. Yet when Denver, became aware of Gods plan for him, did that affect his confidence and faith in his God of whom he had served all his life?

 Of course not. He was happy to know that his life was in the hands of God and was happy to submit to it ...but when you think about it, Denver’s pathway of life that he walked so diligently has been his most important…………. he walked it well, faithfully right to the end.

So, Denver John, you have been a blessed friend. I look forward to meeting you again in Heaven and then living in the earth made new, exploring the universe to our delight. What a privilege to have known you.

See you in the morning!

  • MISS NAN TUCKER died 22nd April aged 98

For many the name ‘Miss Tucker’ will bring back memories of their school days at Stanborough School where she taught and inspired her pupils for almost 30 years finally retiring aged 68 thirty years ago. Her arrival at the school followed a request from the ‘powers that be’ to transfer from her current post at the denominational school in Plymouth to teach initially in the primary department – the school catered for ages 5-18 in those days. Later she moved to the secondary department where she was able to use her passions for English grammar and music through teaching English and, in addition, acting as choir mistress for many years. She also wrote up many of the school’s activities for the Messenger over the years.

For others she was the quiet, unassuming Welsh lady who attended church regularly but never courted a high profile, yet, according to her sister, Bronwen Atkinson, she had a gift for evangelism and explained her faith to all her associates, giving Bible studies ‘to everyone she was in touch with’ and a ‘God’s World’ calendar to all she came in contact with, including her local pharmacist, hoping that they would find the texts inspirational. She was very generous believing strongly in the Christian principle of ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ and would visit jumble sales to buy up scarves, gloves etc to donate to the Soup Run.

According to Bronwen she was born towards the end of 1923 in Swansea attending Neath Grammar School and subsequently undertook her professional training at Barry Training College. Bronwen tells how teaching was clearly a vocation for, as a child, Nan used to line her dolls up to teach them! After qualifying she taught for many years in the Birmingham area before returning to Wales. During the latter half of the 1950’s she joined the staff at Fletewood School, a denominational primary school which was founded in 1919 and shares a building with the Plymouth SDA Church. Around 1962/3 she received a call to join the staff at Stanborough School where she remained until her retirement in 1992. Following her retirement she was able to enjoy her interests of reading, classical music and the Bible and keeping in touch with her many friends through the printed and spoken word.


David Marshall

Nan was one of the most gifted and conscientious teachers at Stanborough School during the long period we both spent there. One of the abiding images I have of her is the way, at the end of each school day, she walked down the park pulling a large, two-wheeled shopping trolley over-spilling with exercise books to mark in the evening. Her marking was very thorough! By the time I taught the children in the Third Form it was evident if the class had been taught by the formidable Miss Tucker. Their English was of an exceptionally high standard.

Nan’s grasp of the structure of language would prove to be a major benefit to me when they made me an Editor. After a few years we made her a member of the BUC Reading Committee. The function of this committee was to advise me which of the many manuscripts sent to the Press was worthy of publication. Her over-all assessments could be a touch severe! However, the real value of her contribution was that, if she saw merit in the manuscript, she could work through it sentence by sentence. In the course of this she would restructure everything in accordance with correct English grammar and readability. She was still doing this when her eyesight was failing. A system of magnification was devised. Her handwriting continued to be tiny but very readable. This was the case in the comments she made on manuscripts and in her many letters to me.

She kept in touch by phone with Anita when we retired. When Anita died a couple of years ago Nan sent me a very moving tribute to her. Behind the hard-working teacher and strict commitment to English grammar there was a warm person with a sense of humour that not all were permitted to see. I’m glad I was.

  • UKRAINE APPEAL: We give thanks to God, and to you, that we reached our goal of £10,000.00 for the Ukraine Appeal and so the church will match those funds. You can still give to the Appeal by writing UKRAINE on the front of an ADRA envelope which is available from a deacon or deaconess.
  • ADRA UK launched its Annual Appeal – ‘DO GOOD ‘: funds are still desperately needed for projects in Myanmar, Ghana, South Sudan, Thailand, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Audrey's Birthday ‘Just Giving’ page (with Gift Aid) has raised over £21,000.00 for ADRA for the 2021 Appeal. ‘We give thanks to God and to all who supported this page. New initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks, but please, in the meantime, pick up an ADRA envelope and donate today. Thank you.’
  • The church’s youth have been fund-raising for ADRA with a concert held on 30th April and baking. They have raised £498 towards their target of £500.
  • We are looking to identify people who have been trained in First Aid and hold a certificate as well as those whose certificate has lapsed. We are also looking for people who would like to be trained as a First Aider. If you fall into any of these categories please let the pastoral team know.
  • Evangelistic Bible Study Training: 11 people have responded. The training will commence on Tuesday 17th May at 7:30pm in the Maple Room. If you have not yet registered, please see Pastor Terry.
  • Midweek Prayer Meeting every Wednesday on Zoom by 7pm – see e-bulletin for details.
  • Adult Sabbath School: Pine Room class and Maple Class: see e-bulletin for log-in details.
  • Denise Cuthbert would like to thank everyone who has called or sent beautiful cards at the time of her mother Tina Cuthbert’s death.
  • If anyone has a ladies' bike which they no longer use or wish to sell for a good price please contact Pastor Terry. Our missionary, Flo, would like one.
  • The Prayer Ministry Teamhas started a WhatsApp Group for everyone. On this Forum you can make your public Prayer Request and you will be reminded of all the Prayer Activities. If you would like your details to be added please contact Bella or Uche.
  • Special Needs Camp needs volunteers. For more information:
  • Teatime Concerts resume on 22nd May 2022 at 3pm by Alexander Aardakov in aid of Ukrainian Refugees.
  • World Adventurer Day to be held at Newbold College Sports Hall on 21st May, 11am – 4pm.
  • Jubilee Celebrations - May 29 and June 4. We are inviting all members and friends from the community to join us for a Picnic in the Park on May 29th to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  We hope everyone will join together again the following Sabbath for a special Jubilee Service in the church on June 4th.
  • Memorial Service for those who have died during the pandemic will be held at the church on 14th May.


  • Transfers in:

  • James Joseph from Ilford Lane, Ilford to SPC
    Margaret Stewart from Dunstable to SPC
    Nancy Khetavath from Birmingham Oxhill Road Simeon Williams from Stratford SDA Church
    Sisa-Linda Williams from Stratford SDA Church
    Transfers out:
    Beatrice Cooper to SEC, Watford
    Peter Cooper to SEC, Watford
    Torben Berglund from SPC to General Conference
    Lygia Brugos to Central London Portuguese Church
  • PLEASE PRAY FOR: Terry Menkens who is now home but in need of continuous prayer. 
    Individuals who are suffering from cancer, COVID and other health issues.
    Families who are experiencing recent bereavement. 
    Families who are struggling financially and otherwise due to recent economic and social crises.
    -Donna Wray who is asking that God will strengthen her as she continues to struggle with health issues.

Private Prayer Requests can be placed in the Prayer Box or emailed to Florence Allen


  • Therèse Valsin and the parents of Beth Molteni. Both ladies are now feeling much better.
  • Joy Bussey who hopes to return home in May although treatment will continue for some time to come.


Elders departmental responsibilities voted:
AV Team: Roger  Murphy
ADRA: Roger Murphy
Churches Together: Pastors
Church Site Management Committee: Roger Murphy
Communications: Louis Guenin
Deacons: Bernell Bussue
Deaconesses: Audrey Balderstone
Family Ministries: Bheki Moyo
Family Worship Committee: Audrey Balderstone
Health Ministries: Bheki Moyo
Music: Bernell Bussue
Outreach: Pastors
Parallel Worship Committee: Steven Moser
Pathfinders: Bheki Moyo
Prayer Ministries: Florence Allen
Sabbath Schools (Adults): Louis Guenin
Sabbath Schools (Children): Yetunde Bright
Safeguarding: Steven Moser
Seniors Club: Louis Guenin
SPCM: Dave Burgess
Stewardship: Florence Allen
Toddlers Club: Yetunde Bright
Treasury: Dave Burgess
Welfare: Bheki Moyo
Women’s Ministry: Florence Allen
Young Adults & Teens: Dave Burgess


  • Budget 2022 voted: contact the Treasurer if you require more information.
  • Baptisms of Micah Bean, Karen Guazon voted, joining Lucy Davis on April 30th at 3pm. 
  • COVID restrictions lifted.
  • Communion service in July will have foot washing re-instated with deacons serving emblems.
  • Deacons will collect offerings from April 9.
  • Partial Nominating Committee Report:
    Family Service Worship Committee: Cathy Boldeau (Music co-ordinator); Angeline Pinky; Anna Papaioannou
    Young Adults Ministry - 18-30-year-old: Jackson Bright (Leader); Tiwa Adebayo (Asst); Team: Micah Bean; Zayne Mueller-Smith.
    If there are any queries or concerns about any name please contact the pastoral team.
  • Membership Transfers:

OUT:  Freddy Machicado to S. Hasselt Church, Belgium 
INCharlene Orbegoso from F.I.C London
Monica Ciocarlan from Popa Tatu Church, Bucharest, Romania
Yui Hanada from Tachikawa Church, Japan

  • Kitchen Concerns:
  1. A major concern is pans being left to warm up on the stove unsupervised whilst their owners attend services plus children accessing the area during services often whilst pans are warming up. This is a potentially dangerous situation not only for the possibility of a fire (fire engine call-outs are expensive) but also children often come into the kitchen looking for sugary drinks so stored knives and possibly pans on the stove present an additional hazard in an unsupervised kitchen .
  2. The kitchen doors are also almost always left open during the week when unsupervised; please keep them closed other than on Sabbaths to allow access for those wishing to heat food.
  3. Unfortunately the kitchens are often left dirty after being used. Please ensure that you leave them after use as you would wish to find them.
  4. The blue insect lamps no longer function and will be replaced.
  • Sabbath Room Bookings

Room bookings on Sabbaths are becoming an increasing problem due to the number of requests, particularly for rooms with kitchens attached [Cedar/Sycamore and Williams Hall]. To ensure that you are able to use a room and avoid disappointment on the day by finding it already occupied please book through the Centre Manager. Highest priority will likely be given to Sabbath School, Traditional/Parallel Services Fellowship Lunches, Youth and Pathfinder meetings, Messy Church etc. 

  • Tree Danger

All tree work has been completed involving five days work at a cost of £12,000.

  • External Lighting

The work is more or less completed, waiting on a couple of parts for the final repairs

  • Fire Alarm Control Panel

Replacing the panel is an increasingly necessary requirement to comply with fire safety regulations. The only quote received so far totals £21,040 + VAT. Further quotes will be sought.

  • Heating System Update

Urgent and immediate work completed on 21.4.22: pressure manager adjustment, failed hot water diverter valve opened manually [needs replacing], two leaking balancing valves replaced, further leaking pipework replaced, all radiators bled and tested along with testing of underfloor heating. Heating set and rebalanced for summer. Thermostat mixing valves in five of the seven toilet blocks need to be replaced along with a further identified pipework leak.

  • Fire Marshal Training

Many have completed the training and possibly more volunteers will need to be recruited.

  • Flat Roof Progress

Three quotes have been received. The CSMC has not yet made a decision about which contractor to use. The Board will be presented with a recommendation in due course.

  • Scheduled events:

14th May – Memorial service
29th May – Platinum Jubilee celebration on the Park (see poster in appendix)
4th June – Platinum Jubilee Sabbath

  • VOTED:
  • To accept the budget reports presented.
  • The Church Site Management Committee Report, see above, was presented
  • VOTED: To restart joint Communion services – the Worship Committee to liaise with the Parallel Committee.
  • VOTED: To approve a list of names to be invited to undertake church office – to be published if the invitations are accepted!
  • VOTED: For the Jubilee event to take place. This will be organised by Audrey Balderstone and her team. The Adventurers and Pathfinder Fair will be moved to combine with this.
  • VOTED: To accept the names requesting transfer of membership - as listed on page 7.
  • STUDENT MISSIONARIES to be referred to as Missionaries or Missionary Volunteers in future – they are not students!
  • ADVENTIST WORLD: this is more than just a monthly magazine Adventist World TV offers a range of programmes on demand; similarly there are podcasts available; also Kids View magazine can be viewed at and



Agnes’s name has cropped up many times in these newsletters whenever one of her photos has been used to illustrate an article. Born in 1908 she became one of SPC’s oldest members, dying at the age of 104.  

Many of the more senior members will remember her as a regular worshipper here until she went into care. For many years her sister-in-law, Muriel Poulton, would be found sitting alongside her in church.

However, from her arrival in Watford at the age of 13 until she moved from her home on the Leavesden Green estate to a flat in one of the  Meriden tower blocks she had been a member of the Watford Town Church. Once she moved to her flat Stanborough Park Church was an easy walk to church!

Following a fall, which left her dependent on others, she spent the last five years of her life in a care home in South Oxhey.

Agnes spent almost her entire working life at Granose where in later years she ran the Dispatch Department efficiently. In her spare time she enjoyed using her camera to record scenes around her as well as taking family photos leaving behind her a wealth of photographic memories.

Her cousin, Pat Allen, was a long-standing member of SPC and her daughters discovered the photographic archive when sorting out Agnes’s effects, recognising their value as a record of Stanborough Park in the past. Whilst the family photos were distributed amongst her family those recording past times of Stanborough Park were digitised by the Stanborough Press with the originals stored in the archives at Newbold College for future generations to study. Agnes, a modest lady, would have been surprised by the interest shown in her photos.

Agnes’s birthday was in late April and so her birthday month seemed a good time to feature her.

Reaching a century meant that her achievement featured in both the local press and the Messenger.

Amanda Powell was Agnes’s deaconess for many years. Here she shares her memories of the times she shared with Agnes.

“Agnes was a warm, friendly lady with a steadfast, abiding trust in God. I can still picture her calm, steady eyes and sweet gentle smile as we talked together and she reminisced of yesteryear. As she recounted various times in her life, which were not ‘easy’, there was never a trace of bitterness or

resentment but rather the wonderful ways God had provided or guided in any and all situations.

“It was on one of my first visits to see Agnes that I asked her about her memories of the war; I asked if she remembered being afraid and that’s when I heard a favourite phrase of hers ‘It will pass’. She used those words often and in many different circumstances. She spoke them with the quiet, steady assurance that God was with her and was in compassionate control. I always felt blessed after visiting Agnes and thank God for enabling me to learn from such a faithful lady.”


THE STANBOROUGH PARK CHURCH STORY 2: the first church minister

Although Stanborough Park was up and running in 1906 there was no provision for collective worship so the workers and their families were forced to use rented rooms in North Watford until 1910 when they were able to use the chapel in the new college building. Even then it took until 1928 before the building we know today was dedicated although a church building in North Watford had been constructed a few years earlier.

Pastor John McAvoy was the church pastor at the time the long-awaited Stanborough Park Church was finally built and dedicated. Little did he realise at that dedication ceremony in July 1928 that his would be the first funeral to take place in the church. He was a much-loved church pastor, as can be seen by the number squeezing into the church to attend his funeral, and his unexpected death at the age of 62 came as a great surprise to all.

The Missionary Worker dedicated a front page in his memory and the obituary written by the BUC President appeared in the following issue. Both are reproduced below. He was buried in ‘Garston Cemetery’ according to the report in ‘The Missionary Worker’.

However, it is uncertain whether this refers to the cemetery at All Saints Leavesden Parish Church in Horseshoe Lane which was the traditional resting place of Garston residents until the opening of the North Watford Cemetery in 1931 which had been part of Leggetts Farm until then.

With Pastor McAvoy’s death being in January 1931 a further search for the precise date of the opening of the new cemetery is needed to answer this question but this has also proved impossible to track down - so far - as has any record of his grave in either cemetery.

Possibly someone with better access to sites giving burial records might be able to take this further.


At Rest
The Passing of a Pioneer – John McAvoy

On Wednesday morning, January 14th, the whole community around Stanborough Park was shocked by the sudden death of Pastor J. McAvoy in his sixty-third year. Brother McAvoy had celebrated the ordinances in the Park Church on Sabbath, January 3rd and following this had been recommended by the doctor to lay up and rest so as to guard against the possibility of phlebitis.

Everyone hoped and prayed for his recovery and he himself thought he was making good progress and requested to be taken back to his home from the sanitarium, where all was being done for him that medical and nursing skill could do. Early in the morning of the 14th he rang his bell for the nurse, who very quickly got in touch with the doctor and Mrs. McAvoy, both arriving just before our brother passed away.

Brother McAvoy had given nearly forty years of his life to this cause, and to have him pass away like this seems more than we can understand. For years he gave his best to the colporteur work; then as Bible-worker and minister he was faithful wherever he laboured. During the past ten years he was connected with the work at Stanborough Park as preceptor and teacher in the College, chaplain of the Sanitarium, and pastor of the two churches.

Brother McAvoy took the keenest interest in every phase of our work, was always in close touch with needy church members, ever ready to help the discouraged and to counsel with the erring. He feared neither friend nor foe in matters he thought right, and was always on hand to help the weak. He was a man of God, loyal and true, and a lover of the young people. He loved the children, too, and was loved by them in return. In the Sanitarium he not only acted as counsellor and teacher to the young workers, but was respected and loved by patients and guests for his kind Christian attention.

Married thirty-five years ago, he has left his dear companion of those years lonely, and bereft of her stay and his loving comradeship. Our

hearts go out to her in loving sympathy; and our prayers are that she may be sustained and comforted by the God of all comfort.

The funeral service held in the Park Church will long be remembered by all who were present. Nearly 500 people attended, and then all walked to the Garston Cemetery where we laid him to rest till his Saviour comes. Our hearts are sad, yet we rejoice in the hope of the resurrect tion, knowing that our brother and companion, so full of good Christian deeds, so loyal to the truth, so faithful in service, will hear the voice of Jesus calling him from his dusty bed to unite with all the faithful in meeting the Lord in the air, and to join in that grand union from which there will be no parting.

We who sorrow must renew our earnest consecration to God and to the work, endeavouring as best we can to fill up the gap left in our ranks by the removal of Brother McAvoy. That God may cheer all hearts so sadly bereaved and enable us all who mourn to rededicate our strength and talents to the finishing of the work is our earnest prayer.

  1. H. MEREDITH President, BUC


Former Stanborough Park Church member, Lynette Alcock, is currently working as a teacher in South Korea. A journalist by training, Lynette found the career move challenging to say the least! Here she updates on her teaching ‘learning curve’.

Hello from Korea!

A new school year has started for me, which means I have a whole new group of kids, with new characters and quirks for me to learn.

So far, even though I have a big class and some kids with strong personalities, generally they seem like an easier bunch than last year, so I'm grateful to feel less stress. They really love to sing. They will often spontaneously burst into can hear them in the hallways, singing about "the wonders of Jesus' love," which is heart-warming. 

In non-work-related news, I recently joined a squash class. I'm not a sporty person, but one of my Korean colleagues asked me to join, and I've been wanting to make more local friends in my community, so I plucked up the courage to try the class!

I've also been enjoying the beginning of spring in Korea, as I went on some day trips to visit famous plum and cherry blossom sites.

So, life in Korea continues to be busy but rewarding. Please keep praying for my work, my language learning, and opportunities to share God's love and encourage those God puts in my path.

Please also pray for my local church. We have been facing some challenges, and in particular we want our youth group to grow and flourish. A lot of youth left during Covid, and we'd like to create a good space that they feel they want to come back to. Thank you for your prayers!

Hope you are well!


THE LAST WORD: Prayer is not a ‘spare wheel’ that you pull out when in trouble, it is a ‘steering wheel’ that directs the right path throughout. 




(As written by the family and read by Brian Davison at his funeral.)

On the 17th October 1937 a new bundle of joy was born to John and Edna Annable: Denver John.  Denver was dedicated at Stanborough Park Church; this was the start of his lifelong relationship with the church.  Denver was to be the eldest of three children.  Terence was born the following year and Melvyn arrived another six years later.

John Annable was a busy builder so Denver had to survive the hazards of living in a builder’s yard. On one occasion he and Terence got into the painter’s shed where Denver decided to paint Terence with creosote. Needless to say, his parents were not impressed. On another occasion he managed to weld a piece of metal into a power socket.  John Annable’s handmade skittles game was often played in Denver’s childhood.  This has now become a longstanding Annable tradition, which continues to this day.

At 5, Denver was sent to Stanborough School but by lunchtime of his first day he had had enough and decided he would go home!  He was promptly taken back to school and informed that he had many more years of school ahead of him.  Not being very comfortable with school work, Denver excelled in and enjoyed the sport most of all, especially running and hockey.

In order to help pay his secondary school fees, Denver worked at the Granose health food factory on Sundays. He mostly cleaned delivery trucks, a terrible job on freezing cold winter mornings, for which he earned the princely sum of 2 shillings & 6 pence. 

As he got older, he got more competent in technical areas, he even built a large electrical transformer, and so large in fact that when switched on it blew the fuses for the whole of Sheepcot Drive! Fortunately, he was able to mend the company fuse before their electricians arrived, so they were never able to trace the cause of the mysterious blackout. Leaving school at about 15 years of age Denver worked at the Wild Barfield factory in North Watford but studied numerous City & Guilds certificate courses in various building trades at Watford Technical College. 

Denver spent his military service years building greenhouses in the garden at No 5 - the family home.  This started a lifelong love affair with renovations.  The 10 year project at “No 2” Spring Gardens became a 10 year rolling programme that took about 20 years to complete.  Denver was heavily involved in the first extension of Stanborough Park Church.  His final building project was his dream family home at 74 Sheepcot Lane which saw the completion of a house which would give Denver & Lorna the space for all the family to visit. 

Later in his career, he joined Fire Research Station (which became Building Research Establishment) and worked there as a respected member of staff until he retired. He formed several close friendships during those years.

Denver was a shy and quiet man, but when Lorna Conroy came to teach at the Stanborough Primary School, he was swept off his feet and somehow or other managed to find the words to ask her to marry him.  They were married at Stanborough Park Church on the 5th April 1970.  He became the father of 4 children: Yvonne, Kelvin, Graeme and Rachel. 

Growing up in the Annable family of Denver and Lorna included many challenges and highlights.  Paying for 4 children to attend Stanborough School meant there was not always a lot of money to spare for other things.  This meant the trusty old red Maxi had to be fixed and repaired every time it broke down.  Many a Sunday was spent in the garage taking the engine apart and trying to work out what needed fixing and how to do it.

The move to 2 Spring Gardens also brought with it many unique experiences, challenges and highlights.  Lorna must have had a great deal of patience to live so long in a house that was mostly a building site. Though this meant there was never a posh carpet or sofa which needed to be kept clean and there were fun freedoms which came with this.  One of those was sliding down the staircase on mattresses which had come out of the caravans.  

The caravan business, which was set up to help fund life and the cost of schooling, also provided regular holidays to the Lakes and North Devon.  The expanse of Woolacombe beach, the many ice creams and take away chips were highlights of these working holidays.  While Denver and Lorna were maintaining the caravans, the children played on the farm. Sometimes there were hikes up the mountains, Denver never worried that the climb might be too hard or too dangerous for his young children and confidently took them up over Sharp Edge and other mountains in the Lakes. Denver loved collecting heavy rocks and interesting sea shells. His collection made a great rockery in the garden and some of these sea shells are featured in an ornamental windowsill at the newly renovated house.

As the years went by and as Denver’s children grew up and they themselves got married, Denver became a grandfather too.  Each and every grandchild was special to him.  The 10 grandchildren that have bought him so much fun and laughter in his latter years are: Chiemi, Miyuki, Hisayuki, Millie, Ella, Daniel, Josh, Theo, Oliver, & Archer

Denver is born and bred a Watford man.  He spent more than 40 years living in 4 different houses on the same street, but later in life he did start to enjoy travelling.  His first trips abroad were to Greece where he learnt to love knickerbocker glories and feta cheese pies.  He travelled to India to help with a mission project to build an orphanage.  After retirement Denver and Lorna enjoyed several ‘round the world’ holidays, spending time with their family in Japan, Australia and Canada.  In amongst all these trips, Denver and Lorna also made a trip to America.  One of the highlights was visiting Denver Colorado - the city he is named after.

Denver has always been an active man enjoying hockey for many years especially with Pete and Pat Walton.  More than 40 years ago Denver and Brian Davison started playing badminton together. Denver really got into playing badminton and has continued playing ever since.  He had a short break after falling from the car port roof (an accident which by God’s grace did not kill him.) but was determined to get back as soon as possible.  Even losing his right eye couldn’t stop him and he continued playing until January this year.  Denver has also kept up a tradition of walking with his ‘walking friends’.  Come rain or shine Denver would go out on a Tuesday afternoon to enjoy fresh air, exercise, chatting with friends and, of course, some home-made cake!

Denver was loved and will always be fondly remembered for some of his little quirks.  He almost never finished a meal without eating something savoury - mostly this was crackers and cheese.  He was extremely fond of ice cream and never missed an opportunity to indulge one way or another whether it be ice cream cones on holiday or giant portions of ice cream with apple crumble at home.  He was also quite partial to a Mars bar - especially before badminton.  He loved buying tools and could always find a use for or an excuse for buying another, newer or better one.  He had a calm personality and never got angry or raised his voice.

Denver’s life was very deeply wrapped up in the life of the church.  He attended church faithfully every week and joined in with many church activities. Although Denver never liked to be up at the front, he has, over the years, been involved in many aspects of church life.  He was a deacon for many decades.  Faithfully standing on the door in the gallery, with the family sitting alongside on the front pew.  Even on the 19th March, the last Sabbath he was well enough to attend church, he was faithfully there as deacon on the door.  As his confidence with building projects grew, he was more and more involved in the maintenance of the church building itself.  Serving on the management committee and being very heavily involved in the church extension which has given the church the Stanborough Centre and extra Sabbath school rooms which we can now not imagine living without.

Denver will be remembered by his wife, children and grandchildren as a good man who was kind, calm, loving and always faithful to his Lord. 


One Vision will be hosting a COVID-19 Memorial Event at 10am on Sunday, 22nd May in the “Peace Memorial Garden” on Stanborough Park.  All are welcome.