Back in January, we congratulated Roy & Marion Leeming on their 60-year Diamond Wedding, looking back on their work with CAM: nearly 30 years in Congo, and then, after their retirement, continuing to represent the Mission in churches around UK.
We were shocked and sad to hear that on 10 August, Marion had passed away. She had died suddenly and unexpectedly in Chorley Hospital, aged 87. It was a painful separation for her beloved Roy, but Marion is now free from all the pain and immobility she had been suffering for years and rejoicing in her Saviour’s presence.
On Tuesday 25 August, the committal took place at Charnock Richard Crematorium at 1.30pm, followed by a memorial service at Bamber Bridge Pentecostal Church to celebrate Marion’s life. For the first time in the history of CAM, only selected mourners could be physically present at the funeral of one of its long-serving missionaries. The Covid-19 crisis meant that only close family members and invited friends could attend. So many former missionaries and friends wished they could have been there. However, the 25 or so present in the church had to wear masks and look anonymous, sit socially distanced from each other and refrain from singing. ‘Close fellowship’ was out of the question!
Thankfully, everyone – all over the world – could watch the service by YouTube video link – and sing along as loudly as they liked! Robin Morris, who, with his wife Cathy, had been on Bible-teaching bush trips with Roy and Marion in Congo in the 70s, led the meeting and gave the message. Tributes from family and friends spoke of ‘one amazing lady’ who was like ‘an unstoppable force’, but who also had a very down-to-earth ministry of regular letter-writing to many needy or lonely folk. Paul Stephenson, who worked with the Leemings at Lwamba, summed Marion up in his tribute as ‘determined, dependable and devoted.’ We do indeed thank God for her life.
Our prayers are with Roy, Steven & Beth and Sarah, along with the five grandchildren and four great-granddaughters. May God comfort and encourage them all as they adjust to living without Marion.