Tributes to preacher

Dorothy Chapman
Dorothy Chapman

Family pays tribute to Dorothy Chapman, a well-known and respected Methodist preacher from Luton, who passed away peacefully on June 9, aged 96.

Dorothy was best known for her work for Beech Hill Methodist Church in Luton, in 2007 she completed 60 years active service as a Methodist Local Preacher.

She grew up in Luton and her dad, Douglas Tearle, was also a Methodist local preacher. In 1947, she married Rev Harold Chapman, a Methodist minister at Chapel Street Methodist Church, the couple lived in Leeds, Swansea, Birmingham and Derby and had three children, Clare, John and Paul.

After Harold’s death in 1965, Dorothy moved back to Luton with her family, where she lived for the rest of her life.

Dorothy worked as religious education teacher at Beech Hill School in the late 1960’s and early 70’s and was a part-time social worker in the council’s children’s department.

She attended Beech Hill Methodist Church, where she was president of the Women’s Bright Hour, she was an active and admired Methodist local preacher for over sixty years.

Her son John Chapman said: “She was a much loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was very active in the community and people will remember her as preaching in churches across Luton and the surrounding areas. She also often spoke at women’s meetings in the area and gave talks on a variety of subjects.

“She qualified as a preacher in 1947, around the same time she met my dad. She did not do a lot of preaching then because she was looking after us, but when my dad sadly passed away and we moved back to Luton, she became more active in the churches. I think she wanted to carry on the work my dad was doing as a preacher.”

Dorothy’s funeral is at Luton Crematorium at 3pm on Monday, July 3, followed by a thanksgiving service at 4pm at Beech Hill Methodist Church.