Missio supporter, Florence Margaret Leake (known as Margaret), died earlier this year. She was a devoted Red Box holder and parishioner of St Cadoc’s Catholic Church, Cardiff. Her son, John, sent this beautiful tribute to her:

For as long as I remember, there had always been a Red Box in our home. My dear Mum (in Wales we say ‘Mam’) had asked that Missio and the Red Box was to be her nominated charity on her death.

When I was 14, I thought I had a vocation and wanted to be a ‘White Father’ missionary, but alas, it was not to be. However, the Missions were always in our thoughts and indeed in all of our fundraising thereafter.

Fundraising: a family tradition

During Lent, we were encouraged to give up sweets and put our pocket money in the Red Box. Mam always put any loose change in the Box as it only ‘made her purse heavy’.

She would bake cakes, organise bingo and tea dances, and entertain parishioners with comedy song & dance routines. All proceeds went equally to building our church (St Cadoc’s) and the Missions.

A life of faith and kindness

Margaret, centre back row in pink coat

My brother and I grew up and eventually moved away from Cardiff. But Mam remained in the family house and kept the Red Box on her table alongside her armchair.  She was very active in the Union of Catholic Mothers (Wales) and was its longest serving member, having joined in 1950. After my father’s death, she lived independently in her own home until her death, aged 97, in February.

Whenever I drew her pension, she always asked for ‘any spare change’ to be put into the Red Box. She didn’t like the new tiny 5p coins, so she saved them up and they all went into the Box. The same applied to the 20p coin.

Such fond memories

As I now begin to empty the house, I have found many photos of Mam on pilgrimage to Lourdes, the Holy Land and Walsingham. I also found many of her at her cake stall, and of her dressed in an Easter bonnet asking for parishioners and visitors to ‘buy a cake and save a life’.

She was also a very talented knitter; I remember the many items of baby bonnets, premature baby outfits and children’s clothes she created for children overseas.

I do hope this snapshot of Mam will give you an idea of a devout Catholic who loved her Lord, His Blessed Mother and the work of  missionaries who are spreading the Gospel of the Lord.

She lived a good life and I am sure she is in Heaven.

Many thanks to John for sharing this wonderful portrait of his Mam, Margaret. We pray for her soul – may she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Will you help Missio with a lasting legacy?

Books of Remembrance

Supporters like Florence and her family are the backbone of Missio – their generosity and compassion has helped ignite God’s saving love around the world for generations. Here are some ways you can support Missio:

  • If you would like to donate to Missio, or give in memory of a loved one, please click here>>
  • If you are considering leaving a legacy to Missio, you can click here to find out more>>
  • We remember all of our supporters who have died at Mass in the Missio chapel, and their names are recorded in our Books of Remembrance. An online version of the most recent remembrance lists can be found here>>.
  • Our supporters are so special to us – and many support us for decades with such generosity and dedication. If you have a story to share about a Missio supporter or a Red Box legacy, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at redbox@missio.org.uk.
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