Janet has donated to our Emergency Appeal, in order to help us Keep Our Doors Open during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. She has a personal connection to St Martin’s that dates back to the 1960s.

“I have donated in memory of Norman Ingram Smith, who I knew many years ago when we ran St Luke’s Hostel in Kennington.  He pioneered a residential care for people with alcohol misuse problems at the hostel under Donald Soper, with his vision of care for people who are homeless. A few years later, they set up a unit for women going through the same challenges.  My mother was part of that team in the mid 1960s. She loved being there.  Sadly, my mother developed cancer and died in 1972 here in Aldbury, where I have lived since 1968.

I hope the money continues to come into St Martin’s. I have a great admiration for all that St, Martin’s as a church and community does. If I lived nearer, I would come into town. I used to do it a lot, but I am now eighty, and although I am fit, I use up my energy in ministry where I am in Tring parish and Sunnyside church in Berkhamsted.

I remember when Norman Ingram Smith set up the project to help those in need at the Crypt all those years ago. And then, how in the 1980s a group from St. Martin’s homeless art group used to come out to Aldbury for the day. We invited them every year, and they loved it, and we loved having them. It seems a long time ago now.

We corresponded for a number of years, Norman Ingram Smith and I, until I heard of his death. I was 23 when I first met him with my mother, and the staff at the hostel, who happen to be dear friends still. I had just returned from Germany where I was working for the British Consulate in Duesseldorf. I had bought a typical German leather green hat, the fashion in those days, and every time he saw me, he would say: here comes green hat! how are you today?”

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