Ilford branch leader of Women’s World Day of Prayer to retire

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 February 2015

Janet Crossland leads the Malaysian themed service for women's world day of prayer

Janet Crossland leads the Malaysian themed service for women's world day of prayer


A campaigner who has dedicated 30 years to a women’s prayer day has announced her retirement ahead of this year’s event.

Janet Crossland, 69, in Auckland Road, Ilford, spends “virtually all of the year” putting together the Women’s World Day of Prayer (WWDP) service in the borough.

And now the grandmother-of-five has decided to hang up her collecting tin to spend more time with her disabled 35-year-old son, Adam.

“I have just been thinking how much time have I got left,” she said. “I just want to be with my son who lives in Somerset. I will probably move away.

“I was only supposed to do the job for three years, but there was no one to take over after that so I extended it to nine.

“I have done well beyond my time – I am absolutely exhausted.”

Mrs Crossland started fundraising aged 11 for her father at Ilford Cricket Club in Valentines Park, before taking over the running of the global prayer event in Redbridge.

The worldwide movement, involving around 170 countries, led by Christian women, observes a common day of prayer each year for a country, traditionally on the first Friday of March.

Service preparations begin in September, five months before Women’s World Day of Prayer.

But Mrs Crossland said collecting proceeds from the event takes her eight woman team up to September, ensuring she is committed to the project for “virtually all of the year”.

“There should be two or three people on the committee full time,” she added. “I do the lot myself apart from the help I get from the eight committee ladies`. It is getting harder and harder to manage.”

Mrs Crossland said each service raises around £500 for the year’s charitable cause, but she hopes to accrue more this year - her final event.

So far, no one has come forward to succeed her as WWDP Redbridge leader, and she is not hopeful of finding a replacement before her final service on March 6 at St Andrew’s Church, in The Drive, Ilford, at 2pm.

To apply for the role, call Mrs Crossland on 0208 554 6047.

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