Friday 2nd. May, 2014 -- Stella 

I heard today that one of the finest ladies I have ever met has died. Stella was an elder at Arrochar Church where I served for almost fifteen years. She became an elder soon after I arrived and she was still serving as a member of the Kirk Session when I left. During the whole of the time I knew her she served her Church diligently, compassionately and selflessly.

When times were hard and the Church was struggling to get going after losing the use of its building for a number of years, Stella was there. When things started to grow and develop once more, Stella was there. She was there at the Guild, a loyal and committed member; she was present at Church almost every single Sunday usually with her husband Alastair by her side. If there was a Church sale then she was there behind the cake and candy stall; if there was work to be done for the Church, Stella was there usually in the company of her great friend Anna.

As I got to know Stella, I learned that she was the rock on which her large family was built. She loved her children through illnesses and difficult times; she celebrated their successes and was always there for all of them. I learned of the strength of her faith, deep and straightforward, and of her confidence in God’s love for his people.

At Christmastime, Stella and Anna would arrive at the Manse with a pot plant and with biscuits to remember the manse family and encourage us at what was always a busy and a special time. We had hoped that she would come down and see us in our new home before too long passed by – Stella would have noticed the collection of tea towels we have, so many of them sent as gifts from her and Alastair when they went for days out. She was like that – always remembering others and thinking of ways to share her happiness with them.

Her family and particularly Alistair will miss her dreadfully, the Church in Arrochar will seem strange without her, but today I give thanks that I knew Stella and, like so many other people, that my life was touched and enriched by her life: she was a very fine lady.


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