I will not boast in anything
no gifts, no power, no wisdom,
but I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection. 
(Stuart Townend)

I was born and named Dorothy in January 1939 and lived in Richmond Road, Ilford. I was christened at St. Albans Church, Albert Road, Ilford. War broke out in September 1939, and life was so different to that of children today.

Our nearest place of worship was Grange Road Mission in Ilford; in fact, it was no more than two minutes from our front door, and convenient during war time. On reading the old registers of Grange Road Primary Sunday School I discovered that I first attended Sunday School there at the early age of 2¼ years, together with my elder sister, Sylvia. Grange Road Mission had a real zest for children’s work and I was grounded in the faith from my early years, singing from Golden Bells Hymn book and C.C.S.M chorus book.

I gave my heart to Jesus at a very early age, probably before I was seven years old. The first text I remember learning was Psalm 23 : 1, ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ This was closely followed by the text, John 3 : 16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

As I grew in the knowledge of the Lord I became a Sunday school teacher myself, probably at the age of 16—17 years of age. My first class was a group of boys aged between 7 and 8 years.

As time went by the leadership of the Mission changed and we had closer ties with High Road Baptist Church, Ilford, and I felt the need to be baptised. The mission was really small, with no baptismal pool, so on the 18th February 1962 I was baptised at High Road Baptist. The text that was written in my salvation testament, given to me by Mr. Pluck, on my baptismal day was, ’continue ye in my love.’ John 15 : 9.

Whilst attending South East Essex County Technical School, I met Edwin Batchelor, and in August 1964 we were married at High Road Baptist. Edwin had just left college and had a teaching post in Lucton’s Boy’s school, Loughton. We were graciously provided with a flat in Borders Lane, Loughton.

We were sent a letter of recommendation to Goldings Hill Evangelical Free Church, and Goldings, at that time, was just like Grange Road Mission, only bigger, so we really felt at home. How the years have rolled away, and many things have changed. In 1968 we moved house, to Wroths Path, Loughton, just up the hill from Goldings Church. Edwin and I were blessed with two children, Simon born in August 1969, and Suzanne born in November 1973. Both children were dedicated to the Lord by Mr. Napper, and later baptised by Rev. John Billet, and sat under the ministry of David Hircock at Goldings. Simon is now married to Paula and living in Harlow—they worship at Harefield Church, Momples Road, Harlow. Suzanne married Tony and they live in Burlesdon, near Southampton, Hampshire where they worship in St. Paul’s Church, Burlesdon. Over the years there have been many blessings, but also illnesses and concerns, but the grace of God and the prayers offered have carried us through any difficulties.

One Bible text in particular that I have came to love whilst in hospital, was 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13: ‘God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’ When trials or illness came to us, God really provided a way out of us and I have been able to stand firm on God’s word, “I will trust and not be afraid’ (Isaiah 12 : 2). As a family, we know that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are always there for us whatever the circumstances.

I bow before the God of matchless care
I bow in awe of one I know is always there -
Who holds the universe He made entirely in His hand
But speaks so simply that a little child may understand;
I see the light of welcome in his face;
I dare to call him Father, for he clothes in in His grace
O the wonder of his mercy!
I can never fathom how he loves me
And so before his throne I bow.
(Praise 270 by Martin E Leckebusch)

Dorothy has been a member at Goldings for over 40 years. For 35 of those years she served as a much loved Sunday School teacher, and has formerly been a deacon. Dorothy currently co-leads the Women’s Own group, where she also plays the piano. Gifted at flower arranging,  Dorothy regularly arranges the church flowers and also provides flowers for weddings and special occasions. She has a heart for people of all ages, from the very youngest to the oldest and can readily testify to the keeping power of God in her life, marriage, and family.