Anagnostis comments on my post below in which I referred to the death of Anne Read, RIP. I hope he doesn't mind if I repost his comments more prominently.
God grant eternal rest to Anne and consolation to all her family and friends.
Anne Read, of Suffolk, North Wales, London, Sussex and Reading latterly was, together with her late husband David, an old and very dear friend and godmother to one of my daughters. Her professional career (as dancer, then singer, then educator) was remarkable - but less so than her heroic spiritual struggle which culminated on the Vigil of Candlemas last week(on the anniversary of her husbands death eight years earlier, and of my first wife Julie's, nine years before that - a strange and wonderful synaxis).
Anne converted prior to her marriage but, like Alice Thomas Ellis, she "had only been Catholic five minutes before it all turned upside-down". She and David spent the remainder of their lives totally dedicated to the restoration of everything that had been swept away with such crass brutality and disregard, leaving the "lay contemplative" without a place to lay his head. In the seventies, they toured the States with Archbishop Lefebvre, founding and training scholas; in the eighties and nineties, in retirement in rural Sussex, they provided unstinting assistance - spiritual, practical and financial - to the burgeoning but beleagured Traditional movement wherever they found it; they were never partisan or ungenerous in relation to any group or individual. Only God knows how many priests, seminarians and disorientated laity they helped and encouraged, how many vocations they fostered, how many acts of kindness great and small enabled some friend or casual aquaintance to hang on when everything seemed most hopeless. The love and kindness she lavished on me and my family, through all of our ups and downs, are among the greatest blessings of my life.
Anne's training as a dancer and operatic performer built upon her native elegance - there was, externally, always something of the aura of the diva about her, to the extent that those who didn't know her well sometimes imagined her haughty and a little unapproachable. Nothing could have been further from the truth. She was the most warm and loving of friends, but also always tremendous fun. I remember her calling me on an anniversary of David's death to tell me of having woken sad and lonely, only to discover a letter on the doormat that turned out to contain a royalty cheque in respect of a recording of David's, some years earlier - "Batman Begins". I can hear her uproarious laughter as I type, and I can see her, glass in hand, recounting some outrageous theatrical anecdote or other.
Nunc dimitis servum tuum Domine. May her memory be eternal.
(If any other bloggers are attending the funeral, I'd be delighted to meet you. I'll be the one signing himself right-to-left, to Anne's considerable dismay, though she always defended me nevertheless, sometimes quite fiercely. She knew the details of my own journey better than anyone. I shall miss her more than I can say).