Pauline Dowling

Part of our series of getting to know our congregation – Pauline Dowling

I was born in Brighton and grew up and went to school in Hove. My father was a chief stoker in the Merchant Navy. My mother was a manager in Maynard’s sweet shop. I am an only child. My parents were strict and brought me up with the saying that children should only speak when spoken to – i.e. seen but not heard!

I was baptised in the Church of England and always attended Sunday school. It was the done thing in those days. I enjoyed church, as the people were very friendly and you always got to know everyone.

I have two daughters and one son. My children went to the school where Cynthia Newman taught, which was then called Bollingbrook School and is now called Westbridge School.

Like my friend, Christine Coates, my children attended the nursery in the crypt of St. Mary’s and I met Christine there. The church was a good place to meet people. I started going to St. Mary’s with my children. It is always a comfort and a time to reflect.

I like the hymns that we sing and readings at St. Mary’s. I enjoy swimming and do so regularly, as well as walking and other activities.

I worked for the Metropolitan Police as a secretary. I typed the witness statements, interview tapes and other similar documents. I found the work very interesting and learned a lot from it.

I had thought about confirmation, but never got around to following up that thought. I had the children to look after and my job. The vicar suggested I join the Thursday group led by Leslie Spatt, about 12 years ago. When I joined the group with Christine, I was able to ask Leslie anything I wanted to know about the scriptures. I was confirmed with Christine at Kew.

St. Mary’s is a friendly church and I enjoy worshipping here. I still love singing the hymns. They are a real joy to me and I can think about the words whenever I want. St. Mary’s is my spiritual home. I think of my dear mother who was a good Christian.