In November, the month of remembrance, we pay tribute to Gertrude Hilton, who was a Red Box Local Secretary for over 40 years. Sadly Gertrude died this year, shortly after her 100th birthday. But we were honoured to get the chance to hear her story, which we share in remembrance here:
Gertrude was Local Secretary of St Bernadette’s Parish, in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, since 1982. We presented her with a long service award in 2018, but her dedication to Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries lasted her whole life and she was still Local Secretary on her 100th birthday.
Shortly before her birthday in June, Gertrude shared with us:
‘Collecting donations for the Red Box has always been a Hilton family affair. I took over from my sister, Margaret who collected money.
‘When I went to school, nearly 100 years ago, we gave our pennies to the teacher for the missions.
‘I am lucky to belong to a parish in Shevington, St Bernadette’s, where the parishioners are very kind and extremely generous people. Red Box donors are visited by a small band of dedicated promoters.
‘A few years ago I was both surprised and very pleased to receive a beautiful certificate of thanks from Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries.
‘We are pleased that, in a very small way, we at St Bernadette’s are able to bring “hope to the hopeless” and “help to the helpless” and make the Gospel of the Lord Jesus known throughout the whole world.’
The incalculable effect of a life in mission
It’s difficult to calculate the amazing contribution each and every volunteer makes through their service and faith. Gertrude passed away in July – we can only imagine how many hearts Gertrude has helped set ablaze with God’s love; how many lives of people she never met she touched and changed for the better from St Bernadette’s.
We give thanks for her lifelong service and pray that she may rest in peace and rise in glory.
A huge thank you to Gertrude’s family for their permission to share her story. We offer our heartfelt condolences and deep gratitude.
We remember them
Missio includes the names of people who have supported Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries in our Book of Remembrance. The actual Books of Remembrance are held in the Missio chapel in London, and in Freshfield, but you can also find and pray for the repose of past supporters and volunteers in our online Book of Remembrance here>>
You make all the difference
We rely on our amazing volunteers to further our mission. We couldn’t do what we do without people like you.
People like Gertrude bring the Missio family together, by sharing the work of missionaries overseas, encouraging people to pray and fundraise, collecting Red Boxes and delivering our Mission Today magazine, or helping to build our online community.
If you have a heart for mission, a bit of energy, and a few hours to spare, we’d love to hear from you. Find out how you can get involved here>>