‘Devoted’ Betty: tributes

A DEVOUT Catholic from Filey, who once received a medal from the Pope for her service to the faith, has died aged 88.

Members of the congregation at St Mary’s Church are mourning the loss of Betty Charnock, who was described as being “devoted” to the church.

Her devotion was honoured by the pontiff in 2003, when she had the Benemerenti medal bestowed upon her.

The honour was given to her for her tireless efforts for the church, which included fundraising, reading and ministering, as well as being Sacristan for the parish.

At the time of the award, Rev Sean O’Connell, from St Mary’s, said the medal was “quite an achievement”.

Mrs Charnock was a member of St Mary’s for just short of 50 years, after being received as a convert on Maundy Thursday in 1963.

However, besides the church, her other real love was her family, husband John, and three children, John, Elizabeth and Richard.

Originally born in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, she served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the war.

She then married John just after the war, and within a matter of weeks they moved to Filey.

Son John said: “Mum and Dad were devoted to each other from their early teens.

“Mum was always very busy, caring for the family and her in-laws. They were of Irish descent and they loved Filey too.”

The couple also enjoyed a shared love of lawn bowls, and Mrs Charnock represented the county in the sport.

She played for Filey, and was the first woman to captain South Cliff, an achievement which resulted in her becoming the subject of a BBC Radio 4 programme in May that year.