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Barking church leader’s 50 years of service celebrated

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 September 2015

Silvia, who can be seen wearing a gold-coloured cardigan, gathered with her friends the Friday before a surprise Sunday service

Silvia, who can be seen wearing a gold-coloured cardigan, gathered with her friends the Friday before a surprise Sunday service

Archant

Friends marked a church leader’s five decades of service in the area with a surprise service on the 50th anniversary of her arrival.

Silvia Weir, 72, arrived in Barking and Dagenham on September 6, 1965 – the year it became a London borough.

Beginning at Faircross Special School and moving to St Margaret’s Church of England School, she taught in the borough for 48 years and is a church leader at King’s Church in Upney Lane.

And earlier this month, friends and ex-pupils celebrated her 48 years of teaching with a service thanking God for her contribution.

Silvia said she was overwhelmed by the celebration, which followed a dinner party two days earlier.

“I knew about the Friday because I’d said it would be nice to have our normal Friday church meal,” she said. “And it was lovely – we had a wonderful evening, it was very special.

“But I was totally overwhelmed by Sunday.

“It was brilliant, so many people had come a long way.”

For those who couldn’t make the service, the church set up a video link, meaning Silvia could hear tributes sent across the country.

“I was very touched and overwhelmed by everyone’s love and support because I’m just an ordinary person who loves God,” she said.

Silvia, who lives in Beccles Drive, made her home in the borough after moving from Ruislip in west London.

She said since her arrival she hasn’t once wanted to leave.

“When I arrived it had just become a London borough with the joining of Barking and Dagenham,” she said. “It’s all changed hugely since then – but it’s still home.”


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