Hopes rise for church plaque in Wigan mum's name

Efforts to commemorate a stalwart Wigan worshipper in the church she served for decades appear to be finally moving forward.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 4:11 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 4:14 pm
Phyllis Read

David R. Boden and his father David Boden have been trying to get a plaque put up in Wigan Parish Church in memory of well-known former congregation member Phyllis Read for years.

The Church of England has already had to apologise to the family for not responding to communications on the matter.

But following a meeting with the Rector of Wigan, Revd Will Gibbons, a number of options for the memorial will now be considered by the Parochial Church Council.

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Mr Boden said he was pleased to see some progress being made as his father is battling cancer and hopes to see the plaque in memory of his mother installed in the church.

Rev Gibbons said: “I was grateful for Dr Boden’s willingness to come to meet together at Wigan Parish Church.

“I greatly appreciated his gracious honesty and it was important to hear his disappointment with the Bishop’s office.

“I have committed to consider how a memorial for Phyllis Read can be made in a way that is appropriate for our historic place of worship.

“The Parochial Church Council will look at three different suggestions to hopefully lead towards making a faculty application for the installation of a memorial plaque.”

In more than 40 years at the historic church Mr Boden’s grandmother took on roles including being president of the Mother’s Union, serving as a trustee and organising fund-raisers and cleaning rotas. Mr Boden had been saddened by the apparent lack of interest by the Liverpool diocese after a plaque was suggested several years ago, but decided recently to have another go due to his father’s health.

He said: “I had to write another forthright letter to the Bishop’s office but I have now met the Rector and he is going to go to his PCC with a recommendation to agree a plaque for my dad’s mum.

“There will then be an order and once that’s granted it can be erected.

“It’s not a massively ostentatious thing we’ve asked for and Rev Gibbons and I have both noticed there are lots of plaques commemorating people in the church.

“I’m just looking for them to go through with it now.

“I will have to go to Plymouth to help my dad come up to Wigan and I’m hoping that can be done later this year.

“My dad is battling cancer and I’m not sure how much time he has so that is why we’re pushing them rather hard on this.”