Mrs Catherine Nora Parkinson, nee Fleming: 1919-2016
Nora Parkinson passed away peacefully at Southport Hospital on 2 November 2016 aged 97 years
The daughter of Peter Fleming, a Baptist minister in Edinburgh, she was active in the church from a young age as Sunday school teacher and assisting her father with his ministry after her mother died. She was President of the Edinburgh University Student Christian Movement and the Edinburgh University Baptist Students Association from 1939-40.
In 1942 Nora married the Revd Kenneth Parkinson who was then a chaplain in the RAF and in 1947 they were called to minister at Christ Church Baptist, Welwyn Garden City, where they remained until 1963. As well as being active in all aspects of church life she would always ensure that a new face in the congregation was given a warm welcome. Her hospitality was renowned throughout her life. Nora served alongside Kenneth at BMS summer schools every year from 1946-58, she was a tutor for the BMS home preparation union, President of Herts Baptist Women's League 1959 and 1979, Chairman of National BWL Planning Committee 1957-1961.
Nora continued to live and work in Welwyn Garden City following her husband's death in 1965. She remained a deacon of Christ Church until 1980, was chairman of the WGC Council of Christian Congregations 1980-81, member of Herts Baptist Association general committee at various times between 1955 and 1992. Nora was a member of the ministerial team at Panshanger Ecumenical Church from 1982-87, member of the Herts Lay Preachers Association and a director of Shared Churches (Herts and Beds) Ltd until 2015.
Nora was well known in Baptist and ecumenical circles as well as the wider community. Her memory was phenomenal and she had a knack of finding a point of connection to everyone she met. Her faith remained strong throughout her life. In latter years as her mobility was restricted she expressed her faith at the nearby Quaker meeting.
Nora remained in Welwyn Garden City until moving to live with her daughter and son-in-law in Lancashire a year ago. She sadly lost her eldest son Ian in August, but is survived by her son David and her daughter Kathleen, six grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. A family funeral is being held on 24 November in Lancashire. The plan is to hold a memorial service in Welwyn Garden City next year.