From Our Churches

Vale Edith Barton

Friday, 18 January 2019

Prepared by Heather, Judith & Roger Barton

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Edith Barton who led a life of faith in Churches of Christ throughout Australia over many years.

She was born in January 1922 at Launceston, Tasmania, and became a member of the Margaret Street church whilst in her teens and was an active participant in its youth activities and sporting teams.  She became secretary of the church’s youth committee, working alongside Kenneth Barton who was the youth committee president.   During the 1940s they were both also involved in the Tasmanian state youth camps.

Ken attended the College of the Bible in Glen Iris during the war years and on his graduation at the end of 1946 they married and commenced a shared life of service in ministries in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria - Port Pirie (1947-1951), Taree, Wingham & Comboyne (1951-1954), Warrnambool & Port Fairy (1954-1960) and Camberwell (1960-1963).  Later, they also undertook interim ministries at Hartwell and Ashburton during the 1990s.   The family worshipped at the Hartwell Church of Christ during Ken’s years as a schoolteacher.

Edith and Ken formed a formidable complementary team and relished working together on all aspects of Christian faith and fellowship - Sunday Schools, youth groups, fellowship groups, representation at State and Federal Conferences, and ecumenical activities.  They were particularly delighted to attend the Churches of Christ World Conventions in Auckland, Long Beach, Calgary and Brisbane. 

Good friendships made at the various churches continued through Edith’s regular correspondence, which was a great joy to her, with cards marking important events and Christmas.   They also extended generous hospitality to many visitors from churches throughout Australia and around the world.

On Ken’s death in 2001 Edith returned to worship at the Camberwell Vision Church of Christ.  She was a member of the Board of Elders who valued her practical and wise advice, help and support.    In 2011 Edith stepped down, deciding it was time to do so only at the age of 89.  Edith continued to worship during the last three years of her life, attending twice weekly Chapel Services at the Baptcare Hedley Sutton Aged Care Community.

Edith had a long, interesting and fulfilling life, lived with generosity, kindness, example, humour and intelligence.  She wrote that if there was one short statement that could sum up her life it would be found in Psalm 16, verse 6 - “the lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea I have a goodly heritage”.

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