Saturday, 24 July 2010

A life well lived

The little girl in the picture above is my Great Aunt Jennie. She was born in 1916 and the photo would have been taken around 1920, when Jennie was four or five. Jennie died earlier this month at the grand old age of ninety four.

Jennie Wood was born on a farm in Yorkshire to a Dales Methodist family, we still have writings and books of poems, penned by my grandmother, which are largely about the evils of liquor. By the age of twenty two Jennie was expressing her desire to join bible college and to put her faith to use helping and ministering to others. In 1939, accompanied by her older sister, Elsie, she attended a bible college in London and worked in the wartime slums.

In 1941 they were given a grant to set up a mission in Wolverhampton. They started off from a small shop which they rented, and raised funds by growing radishes and selling them to hotels - or so family legend goes! They then set up a pentecostal church in Temple Street, Wolverhampton - now the site of of the All Nations Christian mission, and you can read about Jennie and Elsie's part in that organisation here. Jennie and Elsie also refused to work in the munitions factories on pacifist grounds and continued their work in the most deprived parts of Wolverhampton.
I suspect the All Nations Christian Mission and I might be at odds theologically, but I am fascinated by my family history, with its fair share of strong minded Christian women  who saw themselves as having a definite role to play in spreading the gospel and working for social justice.
The picture below is of my grandmother's family, my grandmother is on the far left, Jennie is the baby and Elsie the younger girl.

Jennie Wood's funeral took place on Wednesday, she was interred at Carnforth cemetery.


  1. May she be received into Glory!

  2. Society owes a debt to women like your aunt too big for us ever to be able to pay.


  3. I'm sorry for your loss---what a wonderful life.

  4. My Mother was saved in the Old Pentecostal Church about 1970

  5. How lovely Anon, and how nice of you to get in touch. I hope you enjoyed the article.