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Memorial service for Paddy Atkinson: Friday 24th November, 12:00

paddy atkinsonYou are warmly invited to attend a Memorial Service for Paddy Atkinson at the church in Monteton, Lot et Garonne on Friday 24th November at 12.00.

Paddy’s funeral service took place in Suffolk on 27th September. The death at 97 years of this remarkable lady marks the end of an era for the Chaplaincy of Aquitaine, and especially for the congregation at Monteton, the first Anglican church base to be founded beyond the Chaplaincy in Bordeaux, some 40 years ago. It is good to know that former Warden Joy Hill, on visiting Paddy in hospital in August, found her watching and singing along to the DVD she had been sent of the Monteton 40th Anniversary Concert in July!

The congregation at Monteton grew from the day when Paddy had a conversation with a one-armed ex-RAF officer, Harry Atkinson, (no relation, just an amazing coincidence). Paddy and her husband Barry, also ex-RAF, along with the other Atkinsons regularly attended services at the Anglican Chaplaincy base in Bordeaux and it was after such a service that David Ratholen, who had been recently ordained, agreed to visit every six weeks to lead a service in the front room of Paddy’s house in Lot et Garonne, according to Paddy “on the proviso that it was dry”!

After this, negotiations proceeded with the Roman Catholic church and with the Maire of Monteton, finally resulting in permission to use the church at Monteton for Anglican worship. Paddy was also involved in fund raising for the restoration of this wonderful Romanesque building and was highly regarded by both the Maire and by the village Commune. As the Maire, Madame Le Lannic, said at the time of a recent Visitation by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Agen to Monteton, “without the Anglican congregation, the church would rarely be used and we are very grateful”.