Mrs Joyce Stockley: 1924-2016
These days there are not many people of whom it can be said they began their life, and ended it in the same church – Earlsfield Baptist Church. Joyce was one of these
Joyce was dedicated to the Lord as a baby, going through all departments of the Sunday School and deciding at 12 years old to follow Jesus. Following some teaching Joyce was baptised, and joined the church as a member in 1937.
After training, qualifying as a State Registered Nurse, Midwife and Sister Tutor, Joyce felt the call for mission service and applied to the Baptist Missionary Society in 1948 and began her training at Carey Hall.
During this time she met and fell in love with David Stockley who was training at St.Andrew’s College in Birmingham, prior to working overseas in agriculture as a missionary. They were married in Calcutta and went on to serve for almost 40 years in Bangladesh and Brazil, during which time they raised four children, and also David received the OBE from the Queen in 1977 for his contribution to the Bengali people.
In 1953 a request for seeds from BMS, led to the Baptist Men’s Movement adopting this as a project and in turn David and Joyce became pioneers of ‘Operation Agri’, through whom they received seeds, chicks, goats, tools etc., and Joyce was able to speak at the 50th anniversary celebrations.
In retirement David and Joyce lived in Ashdon, Saffron Walden, until David became unwell and sadly passed away in 2002. This led Joyce back to Earlsfield where she lived with her sister Iris and became an active church member until her homecall on 30 April 2016, age 91 years.
Joyce was a great encouragement to David in his work as an agricultural missionary, always fully supporting him and regularly extending hospitality to visitors.
Many tributes have been received by the family from friends who were associated with David and Joyce through the years, all commending the outstanding things they achieved during their time of service for the Lord. We thank God for every memory of Joyce and David – the end of a memorable era.
Moreen Sore, Earlsfield Baptist Church