Christian friends devoted in life and death
By Alan Wright
2009: In a touching story of devoted Christian love and care, two Norwich women, one of whom was a Methodist local preacher, died within 24 hours of each other, after sharing a home for the past 50 years.
Traffic on Aylsham Road in Norwich was brought to a standstill on Friday February 13 as two horse-drawn hearses carried the coffins of Millie Naunton (aged 98) and Elsie Doughty (92) to their joint funeral held at Mile Cross Methodist Church, followed by cremation at St Faiths.
Millie had moved into their house on Rye Close with her parents, when it was first built, and she remained there through her married life until her final illness.
Elsie moved in as a lodger during the 1950s and in recent years spent much of her time caring for Millie who was chair-bound. Both were devoted and active members of Mile Cross Methodist Church.
Elsie was a local preacher in the Norwich area, fulfilling her appointments on her trusty bicycle.
They each attended a Christian Lunch Club locally until ill health prevented them from leaving their home.
They kept in close touch by listening to recordings of the Sunday services, and Elsie contributed to these by reading lessons which were played during morning worship. The last time she did this was as recently as November 2008.
The well-attended funeral service was conducted by Rev Briant Smith and included a short tribute to Elsie from Rev Alan O’Dell who was the minister at Mile Cross in 1955.
Pictured above are the coffins of Millie Naunton and Elsie Doughty arriving at St. Faiths Crematorium.
Please add your tributes or memories of Elsie and Millie in the comment section below