Zilpha first joined the congregation at Ray Lodge about 10 years ago when she moved from the Wanstead area to Woodford Green. After a few months she discovered our little church and became a regular member of the congregation, transferring her church membership from Wanstead URC to Ray Lodge in 2009 and becoming an elder in 2014.
Many people who have visited our church only occasionally will remember Zilpha as the welcoming lady who liked to make the tea. However, Zilpha was so much more to Ray Lodge than that; she had a shrewd mind and often offered valuable, no-nonsense opinions both in church meetings and privately. She supported the other elders in all that they did and could always be relied upon. I remember only last year arriving at the church building early at 8:45am to prepare for a funeral only to find Zilpha already there, mop in hand, cleaning the floor.
Some years ago now Zilpha had helped get the parent and toddler group going and for 2 years ran it herself. She was an invaluable help for such things as lent lunches, always prepared to get involved.
Zilpha regularly went back to Jamaica to visit family and would bring us news of her church there who we helped with rebuilding work when they suffered flooding. Chatting to her about life when she lived in Jamaica was always interesting and she was also a good listener. Zilpha will be really missed by us all. She was the most helpful and considerate person one could hope to meet.