As a Fellowship, we join many in giving thanks to the Lord for the life of Frances Whitehead, who died peacefully at her home in Bourne End on Saturday 1 June.
Frances acted as personal secretary to John Stott for over 50 years and was a tireless enabler of ‘Uncle John’s’ astonishingly fruitful and impactful ministry – not least his work for university Christian Unions in this country and around the world. Frances ably arranged and facilitated the numerous and influential trips he made to IFES movements across the globe. She was at John’s right hand through all his years of visiting CUs and speaking at missions in Great Britain and was able to help CU committees to be better organised for his visits than they might otherwise have been. Her kindness and patience combined with her instinctive sense of good order, made her the ideal interface for UCCF staff and CU leaders.
In the early 1980’s when I was on the UCCF Student Council (then called Universities National Executive), I remember introducing John Stott before he gave one of the main addresses at our national student leaders conference (now known as Forum). His impact was deep and profound and this was just one of the many occasions where it was Frances’s diligent work behind the scenes that enabled Uncle John to have such an impact. It has been well said that Frances’s legacy is a shared legacy with John Stott, for he could not have achieved half of what he did without her.
A funeral service for Frances will be held at 2:00pm on Friday 21 June at All Souls, Langham Place.
Richard Cunningham, Director