Mary Ann Wainwright

Author:
Date published: 22/01/2014
© Primitive Methodist Magazine 1886

MARY ANN WAINWRIGHT

 

 

Our church at Newbury has sustained a severe loss in the death of Mrs. Wainwright, who departed this life March 10, 1885. She was one of the most useful and earnest workers that we had in that town. Up to the age of fifteen her religious training had been with another section of the Christian church. About this time she was attracted by the bright street singing of the Primitives, was drawn to the services, and led to consecrate her life to Christ, and at once united in Church fellowship with our people. This step raised a tide of persecution on the part of her friends, but the cost had been counted, and no sacrifice was deemed too great for the love she had to Christ, and the people of her choice. Like Ruth she could say “Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”

 

For thirty-six years she maintained uninterrupted membership of our church. From the outset she became a worker in the Master's vineyard, and during those years of loving and earnest service, did what she could. She began her ministry of love among the little ones, in the Sabbath-school, with the precious children around her. It is not too much to say, that hundreds of young children's were gladdened by the sunshine of her smile, and many a little one found the sweetness of a Saviour's love, through her teaching and life. This love and care for the little ones knew no abatement as the years of life passed by. Her heart was ever bound up with the children. Her interest in the missionary cause amounted to a passion. For thirty-five years she was one of the best collectors in the Brinkworth District; at least between £200 and £300 must have been raised by her during those many years. Weary miles did she journey seeking subscriptions, and the live long night found her busy fingers actively at work making fancy and useful articles for sale, so that she might raise the sum upon which her heart was set. One of the last things she did was to hand in seven pounds for the General Mission Fund, and three pounds for the African Fund. When an effort was made to remove the debt from the old chapel in Newbury, none entered more heartily into the matter, and for the erection of our new and costly church she raised a princely sum. The Women's Temperance Association in the town had in our dear sister one of its best workers; she would visit the drunkard at his home, and seek to win him back to paths of sobriety. Among the sick, the poor, and the outcasts, she would would often be found, ministering to their temporal and spiritual needs, and in this way taking peace and blessing into many a home.

 

Her whole life was imbued with self-denial, self was lost in her thoughts and care for others, she always had something on hand for which she was working. The Church and the poor in her departure have lost one of their best and truest friends. Her life was intensely practical and earnest; not the mere sentiment that would weep over tales of wretchedness, but the life that would come to the rescue, would feed the hungry and clothe the naked. The Saviour's words would apply with no ordinary force to her, “For I was an hungered and you gave me meat; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked and you clothed me; I

was sick and you visited me.”

 

No account of the dear departed would be at all complete that did not touch her character as a mother. Left a widow twenty years since, with two dear boys dependent upon her after the long illness and death of her first husband, Mr. Thompson, many of us know how bravely she looked matters in the face- how with her own hands, and firm trust in the living God, she fought life's battle for herself and her fatherless ones, and lived to see them started well in life, and active members of their mother's church, loved and respected by all that know them. Their mother's life will be a precious memory and stimulus to them as the years go by.

 

In the year of 1870 our sister was united in marriage to the Rev. W. Wainwright, one of our ministers. This union was far too brief as we thought. A few months and he was laid on a bed of affliction. All that a loving wife and kind friends could do, was done. His work on earth was finished, and the Master called him, it may be, to higher service.

 

Her saddened heart found shelter and peace in the Rock of Ages. Our sister's life's work came to an end rather suddenly. She had never bee very strong, often brought low and raised up again, but the Master had come and called for her; a few days of severe pain and suffering, and the silver cord was loosened, the golden bowl broken. She passed away on the evening of March 10,1885. For years at times the solemn hour had been expected, and frequently talked of in calm composure and joyful anticipation, so that when the call came, there was no making haste, no excitement, no lamp burning, ready for the marriage feast. Jesus was a precious living reality, which enabled her to say, “All is well,” and with a beautiful, calm, childlike composure she slept on the bosom of her Lord.

 

A most impressive funeral service was held in our church, the Rev. J. Herridge of Swindon giving an outline of the life of our sister, he having known her during the whole of her Christian course. A large concourse gathered at the grave, to pay their last tribute of love to departed worth.

 

The writer improved her death in our Church in Newbury, on Sunday evening, March 15th. Text, “She hath done what she could.” A large congregation gathered. It was a time of deep feeling, and we are hopeful that her fallen mantle has rested upon others, one especially who will take her place as missionary collector. Though her earthly course was finished at the age of fifty-one, we could not say that “her sun went down while it was yet day.” No, - thirty six years of service for Christ, entering that service in the morning of life, would give a life crowded with work for the Master.

She chose His service, for the Lord of love

Had chosen her,

And lit up all her life with radiance new-

The happy service of a yielded heart;

With comfort that He never ceased to give

(because her need could never cease) she filled

The empty chalices of other lives;

And time and thought were thenceforth spent for Him,

Who loved her with his everlasting love.”

D.H.

 

Connexional Biography p 375

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1886

 

BMD 1886 deaths Mary Ann Wainwright aged 51

marriages Dec. Q 1870 Newbury

William Wainwright and Mary Ann Thompson

 

Sources:above and BMD

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