Obituary: The Rev Margaret Pilkington
Margaret Pilkington, died on August 14 after a relatively short illness. She graduated from University College Leicester in 1951 with a BA in English, the following year completing a Diploma in Education Studies.
She was born in
Accrington in 1930 and educated at the Girls’ High School. She started her
teaching career in 1952 at Cowley Girls School in St Helens where she taught
In 1958 she
fulfilled a resolve she had once made to teach abroad and was appointed to
Ying Wa Girls’ School in Hong Kong where she taught English and later was
Deputy Head. The school had been established in 1900 by the London Missionary
Society (now Council for World Mission) and Margaret valued greatly the
fellowship of Christians working in various capacities in the Mission. She
developed a life-long love of the people and of all things Chinese and was
fortunate to visit the mainland even in 1967 during the Cultural Revolution.
She was in Hong Kong, apart from one year in England, until 1972 when she and
other ex-patriates withdrew to enable Chinese teachers to take over.
After a term
teaching immigrants in Bradford, Margaret went to Liverpool Institute School
for Girls (Blackbourne House) and in Liverpool she studied for two years for a
Diploma in Religious Education.
Margaret moved to Casterton when she was appointed Deputy Head at Casterton
School. Owing to the illness and subsequent death of the Head, Tom Penny, she
was Acting Head for four terms. She enjoyed her time at Casterton, her contact
with students and with their parents, the teaching and the administration.
Inevitably, work in a boarding school is all-consuming and so in order to meet
people in the village she joined the Women's Institute.
early retirement in 1987 and since then continued to live an active life. She
was able to travel abroad including a number
of visits to Hong Kong and China – on one occasion going to meet Chinese
Christians in churches as far west as Yunan. She gave hospitality to Chinese
students from Lancaster University and has given innumerable lectures on
various aspects of life in China. She was always pleased to return to
Casterton School for concerts and social events – and even to preach.
Christian all her life, Margaret had at one time investigated the possibility
of becoming a Deaconess, but decided that her vocation was in teaching. When
she retired, however, she wanted to be more active in the church and in 1989
she was licensed as a Reader in the Team Ministry of Kirkby Lonsdale. She
enjoyed the work, became a valued member of the Team and also had some
involvement in aspects of work in the Diocese. Margaret continued her interest
in the WI, and was President of the local branch for three years. Included in
the many aspects of her service to the community has been membership of the
local Abbeyfield Committee.
Margaret led a
rich and fulfilled life, feeling blessed to be a Reader in her retirement. She
was therefore overwhelmed when Bishop Dow suggested that she should be
Ordained. She became a Deacon in 2001 and a Priest in 2002.
The wide diversity and the number of people - including University contemporaries - that attended her funeral service was a mark of the respect and love in which she was held by so many people whose lives she had touched.
Last updated: 1 October 2002 17:00
Created by: Rachel Tunstall
Maintained by: Barbara Whiteman
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