Service to celebrate shop volunteer

Mildred Mitchell...Methodist shop charity worker
Mildred Mitchell...Methodist shop charity worker

A SERVICE of thanksgiving was held at Garstang Methodist Church to celebrate the life of Mildred Mitchell, an enthusiastic supporter of the church’s Mustard Seed one world shop.

Mrs Mitchell (pictured), who lived in Elswick in her younger years, died recently aged 92.

She had been actively involved in the Mustard Seed shop, which was the town’s first Fairtrade outlet.

The service was led by former minister, the Rev Peter Haywood, under whose inspiration the shop opened in 1991.

Addressing a sizeable congregation of relatives, church members and friends he recalled how Mrs Mitchell used to greet visitors and take them on a personal guided tour of the shop.

She would explain, without any pressures, the origins of the crafts and foodstuffs on view and how purchases could make a difference in the lives of the producers.

Mrs Mitchell, a widow, was a domestic science teacher, and head of department at Trowbridge Technical College, until she retired in 1975.

After retirement she moved to Dorchester Road, Garstang, to participate in the life of the Methodist Church.

She entered a care home earlier this year and died on Maundy Thursday.

Former co-ordinator at the Mustard Seed, Mr John Allen said: “At the Methodist Church she is remembered for her independent spirit, pastoral work and contributions to many floral activities.

“Her service to the Mustard Seed extended over 15 years working as a volunteer on alternate Thursdays and setting an example for others to follow.

“She will be fondly remembered by customers from as far as Preston, Blackpool and Morecambe who were attracted by the hospitality and friendship she offered.”

Her family, who live in Kent, and one relative from Canada, travelled to Garstang for the service.