Outlook Issue 25 Spring 2018
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Five minutes with … Stanley Workman
If you’re a regular or occasional member of the Sunday morning congregation at St Mary’s, then the chances are you’ve received a warm welcome from Stanley Workman. Stanley is one of two churchwardens at St Mary’s and he’s more than happy with a ‘meet and greet’ role after himself being welcomed to Woodbridge some 80 years ago. ‘I was a Barnardo’s boy,’ he tells me as we chat in the Church Centre. ‘I arrived at Woodbridge Station at the age of four and was met by Mrs Davis of Castle Street, who took me in and became my foster mother.’ Born in Gloucester, Stanley had already been in three Barnardo’s homes – in Bristol, Barkingside and Stepney Causeway – before coming to Woodbridge. ‘I didn’t find any of my real relatives until I was 60,’ he says, ‘when I ran into the wife of a cousin in the doctor’s surgery. She said, “Here comes my namesake”, and the connection was made.’ After attending New Street Primary School and doing National Service in Italy and Germany, Stanley joined Notcutts, where he worked for 48 years, eventually retiring in 1998, just two years before his 65 th birthday. ‘I became a driver for Notcutts and made deliveries all over the country, and abroad to places such as Ireland, Germany and Jersey. I was driving for hundreds of miles and was always pleased to get back to Woodbridge. When I came on to the Ipswich Road, I knew I was home.’ From those early beginnings in Barnardo’s, Woodbridge and St Mary’s have become his extended family. While his stepmother and her then grown-up children passed away years ago, he has a wife Jennifer, whom he married in 1957, and three children, Janet, Carole and Kevin. ‘Being a Barnardo’s boy,’ he says, ‘you learn to look after yourself – and others around you.’ Having already served as a sidesman at St Mary’s, he was pleased to accept the post of churchwarden from Rector Kevan, because of his long association with the town. He admits to not being too comfortable in official church meetings, but the other duties, such as looking after the church and its congregation, have suited him down to the ground. Those who have been on the receiving end of a Stanley Workman welcome would certainly agree! NC