1931 – 2019
Helen Mary Pearson was born in Nottingham in 1931, After moving with her family to Kent for her final school years, she returned to Nottingham in 1950 as a University student where she got a 1st class Divinity degree. Loving music, she joined the University Choir where she was soon scouted to join the Concert Choir. Here she met– Geoffrey Knight, the then concert choir master, who she would fondly remember, “picked her up one day at the bus stop” while waiting to go to choir practice. They never looked back.
Later in life, her teaching career came to the fore, passionate as she was about education and its role as the great leveller in life.
Having started her teaching career at Harrogate Ladies, she joined Heathfield School in 1973 after Geoffrey became Head of Music there. Initially a part time Latin and Divinity teacher, she soon proved herself to be both gifted in the classroom and effective in the staff room. By 1984 she had been appointed as Deputy Head.
She was a choir stalwart, a founder member and long term president of Chavey Down WI, the caretaker of St Martin’s hall for as long as one can remember, she guided it to a vibrant and energetic group with many members.
Retiring from teaching, she still had plenty to give! Guided by her faith, she became a Licensed Lay Reader for the parish, and continued in this role, working tirelessly, and with absolute dedication, for over 30 years. Two particular highlights that meant so much to her: being chosen by the Bishop of Oxford to receive Maundy money from the Queen in 2013 in recognition of her contribution; –- and receiving the Honorary Title of Licensed Lay Minister Emeritus from the Bishop on her retirement earlier this summer.