from the Parish Magazine, September 2002
A short but full life.
The church was packed with friends, relatives and giraffes to celebrate the life of Martha Bickley, who lost her fight against cystic fibrosis on 22 July, aged 10.
Martha had become a soldier in the Salvation Army. The service was led by Captain Mike Whalley, who wrote this tribute to Martha:
I have only had the pleasure of knowing Martha for just over a year, but her delightful nature and desperate concern for the well being of others was evident from our first meeting. Despite her many difficulties and severely debilitating illness, Martha simply radiated joy and hope. It was always so heart warming and encouraging to be in her company.
For such a little person Martha had one of the biggest hearts I have ever known. Her nature was one whereby the needs of those around her were always put ahead of her own.
Martha was a positive person and even a short time in her company would have had you counting your blessings. You would often leave her feeling less burdened and rather inspired by her courage and determination, tending to forget how young she was.
Martha’s spirit was unbeatable, her love all embracing, and her life was lived to the full. Martha would greet strangers with a beaming smile, warm chatter and in no time at all she had you captivated. Martha was too a deeply spiritual person and held strong Christian beliefs. I remember when Martha first moved forward to our special place of prayer… Kneeling beside her I prayed with and for her, and true to form, when I had finished, she prayed for me.
CAPTAIN MIKE WHALLEY