PCC of Winkfield

Memorial to Ruth & Mary

In memory of Mary Knight and Ruth Timbrell we would like to commission 2 stain glass panels to be hung in the windows at St Martin's Church, Chavey Down.
raised of £2,400 target
by 14 supporters
RCN 1165536


Mary Knight and Ruth Timbrell were long time residents of Chavey Down (Ruth lived here for her whole life)

In memory of Mary Knight and Ruth Timbrell we would like to commission 2 stain glass panels to be hung in the middle windows on each side of this church.

One will be dedicated to Mary and the other will be dedicated to Ruth.

Each panel will cost a minimum of £1200 - we hope to raise more than this as it will allow for either larger or more detailed panels.

We are asking for donations and suggestions for the 2 panels.

Mary & Ruth were honoured in 2012 by Queen Elizabeth, in her Diamond Jubilee Year, together they received Maundy Money from Her Majesty in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford - a tribute to the unstinting service given to their community by those two remarkable Chavey Down ladies.

Mary Knight – a tribute

17th September 1931 – 10th September 2019

Mary Knight died peacefully at about lunchtime when a nurse was in attendance at her home. Her mind was clear, and she was very much the Mary that we have known, despite the continuous pain and agony that her cancer inflicted. She bore her suffering with stoicism, since hers was a life, supporting the Parish and many other causes, with a deep Christian faith at its centre, in which no moment was wasted, even at the end. Truly an inspiration to us all.

“Mary, thank you for all your service to the village and church.” “An inspiration to us for so long.” “Thank you for all that you have done for St Martin’s.” “Thank you Mary for all your help and prayers.” “Thank you for everything. You will be greatly missed.” “You have been such a blessing to us, Mary, for which we are so thankful!”

On 31st July 2019 Mary officially stood down from her role as a Licensed Lay Minister, after more than 30 years of service, and Bishop Steven of Oxford personally gave her the honorary title of LLM Emeritus. Her friends at St Martin’s prepared a card and a gift for her, and the quotes above come from that. They wanted to give it to her in a church service; sadly this was not possible as Mary wasn’t able to get to church again. However, they reflect the love and esteem in which Mary was held, not only at St Martin’s but throughout the Benefice and all over the local area.

I only knew Mary for the last few years of her life, so there is much I don’t know about her. She was a scholar, having got a First in Theology at university; a teacher, and Deputy Head for many years at Heathfield School; a singer, who met her husband, Geoffrey, at a choir practice; a devoted mother and grandmother; a tireless worker and a woman of deep faith. In recent months her failing health has meant that she hasn’t been able to do as much as she used to (which frustrated her enormously) and others have had to step in to cover these areas.

My suspicion is that, in the weeks ahead, we will discover even more jobs that Mary quietly got on with, without making any fuss.

Underlying all her activity Mary was a woman of prayer. She kept the prayer life of the church going through three interregnums (the gaps between one Vicar and the next), and was an inspiring, and scholarly, preacher. Shortly before I began my present role I had a moment of deep uncertainty, when I felt I simply wasn’t up to the job. Mary reminded me that the ‘one thing needful’ is to listen to God, and then try to live out what he is saying; this gave me the reassurance to go ahead. As well as the card, and gift, I had prepared a medal that I wanted to award to her. On one side it said, ‘Mary Knight MBE’, and on the other ‘Mary – Best Ever’.

Mary died peacefully at home, after living with cancer for more than three years.

She was never one to complain, but it was clear she was frustrated by the way her body was letting her down, and giving her pain. Those limitations are now over for her, and I feel confident that the one she served for so long is now saying to her: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”.

Huw Mordecai

In memoriam – Ruth Timbrell, née Mayes

On Thursday 9 February, a moving Memorial service in St Martin's church was held to celebrate the life of Ruth Timbrell, who had died in December 2022 at the age 94. The service was followed by the interment of her ashes in the family grave of her husband Charles in St Mary's churchyard. Ruth Mayes was born in 1928 in Fulham. For some time, her father had been looking for land on which to build their own house, and they found the right place in 1934 on the edge of the hamlet of Chavey Down, then a few rustic miles from Bracknell. Her father died in 1938 and on the death of her mother in 1949 Ruth inherited her childhood home and this is where she and Charles remained after their marriage in 1954. In her early years, she had been educated by the nuns of Ascot Priory, and those days were clearly a treasured experience, as she loved visiting the Priory, and it became her home in her last days.

Ruth was very much a country girl, and became fascinated by the history of Chavey Down and the surrounding area at an early age. During the 39/45 war, her family grew vegetables in their big garden. She had a pet goat - she loved animals of all kinds – and this love was memorialised by the 'Timbrell Tunnel' created, at her strong instigation, when Harvest Ride (Bracknell's Northern Distributor Road) was developed, to enable badgers to continue to have access to their traditional foraging grounds.

She played a strong leadership role in local organisations, including the Chavey Down Association, of which she was secretary for nearly 60 years. Ruth was fearless in her defence of issues that mattered to her, and, by her leadership, inspired (perhaps by a little not-so-subtle 'fingering') volunteers for many local organisations. She was loved as well as highly respected in her community work.

She became a well-known local historian, and her book 'Chavey Up Down and Around', published by herself in 1983, is still available as 'Rare nonfiction' at prices that probably would have astonished her. She loved communicating her local knowledge, and gave talks to schools on the subject. Her research is still enshrined in a multitude of documents maintained by the Berkshire Record Office. Her love of the area drew her into a number of public activities that aimed to preserve the local country heritage. She became secretary of NORPAG, a group that endeavoured to prevent thousands of new houses being built around the small villages to the north-east of Bracknell during the tenure of Maggie Thatcher as Prime Minister. She was quite happy to confront Nicholas Ridley, the then Secretary of State for the Environment.

About the charity

PCC of Winkfield

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1165536
Created via charity sign up service.

Donation summary

Total raised
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.