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Seventy years faithful service at Suffolk church 

Seventy years faithful service

A Suffolk church has said goodbye to its longest serving member.

Doreen Rudland, who has died aged 83, joined Elmswell Baptist Church in 1943, having been born in the village 13 years earlier.

Among her many jobs at the church, she supported her husband Charles in his role of church secretary for more than 30 years, operating as pulpit secretary, was founder leader of the Ladies Friendship Group and 'stalwart' flower arranger.

As a member of the WRVS she was involved in preparing meals on wheels and was instrumental in setting up the village lunch club.

Doreen loved her garden and needlework and was involved in the local quilting group right to the end. She was washing up coffee cups after morning service just two days before her death.

In 2012 she was able to take part in a reunion marking the 125th anniversary of Elmswell Baptist Church, and attended the anniversary service the following day, which was led by the Revd Sheila Martin, regional minister for the Eastern Baptist Association.

She died in early March aged 83. A funeral service was held on 18 March in the chapel, attended by her family and the church family. It was followed by internment in Elmswell Cemetery and then a thanksgiving service in St Johns Parish Church because the chapel was not big enough to hold all those who attended.

'A life "well lived" was recalled, a gracious and wise lady, a loving wife, mother and grandmother who will be sorely missed by all who knew her,' said a church statement.
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