Poignant legacy gives new room at Aylsham church
2016: A new community room has been opened in Aylsham Parish Church, funded by a legacy from Molly Long, mother of teenager Susan Long who was murdered in the town more than 40 years ago.
St Michael’s has used the bequest of nearly £70,000, almost Mrs Long’s entire estate, to build the two-storey Molly Long Community Room within the medieval church she loved.
It will be in daily use from this month for everything from toddler groups to Aylsham’s Food Bank, choir practice, an after-school club - and Aylsham vicar Rev Canon Andrew Beane is also hoping its upper minstrels-style gallery will be used by singers this Christmas.
Christened and married in St Michael’s, Mrs Long had her own daughter, Susan, baptised there too. The family were weekly worshippers and Susan became a Sunday School teacher at the church. But her life ended, aged 18, in March 1970 when she was strangled. Her murderer has never been caught.
Molly Long, who was widowed many years ago, drew strength from her deep Christian faith after the tragedy, immersing herself in Aylsham life, and was an active member of organisations including the Royal British Legion, WI, and Mothers’ Union. She worked as a cook at Aylsham’s St Michael’s Hospital and at Aylsham High School and was later involved with Aylsham Care Trust lunches, coffee mornings and outings.
At her funeral service in St Michael’s Canon Beane described Mrs Long as: “... a caring, faithful, inspiring woman.” He said his congregation was delighted with their new space, which includes a kitchen and a round oak-panelled turret surrounding a spiral staircase to the upper gallery.
This article is taken from the North Norfolk News
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Picture of Aylsham church is courtesy of http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/
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