News Release

A White Christmas for Winnifred and her Family

As the Wandsworth Stake, London, came to the end of its drive to offer the Saviour Christmas baptisms throughout the month of December, Winnifred Smith decided at the age of 93 to accept the Lord's offer (through Elders Freeman and Kankkunen) to come unto Him.  Winnie first heard about the gospel through her son, Peter Appleyard, who currently serves as Stake Clerk, but it was some years later before she accepted it.  Eventually on 18 December 2011 she entered the waters of baptism.  This was a great occasion for Winnie and her family and she is now a member of Mitcham Ward.

Winnie was born in 1918 and whilst growing up was minimally involved with the Church of England. She explained that although church was not discussed much at home the family lived by righteous principles and passed those principles on to her. Her mother played a major role in her life when she was growing up and was always there for her teaching her about life.  Reflecting on her past, Winnie stated that the best moment in her life was getting married when she was in her twenties, just after the war. Commenting on her baptism Winnie said "the decision to be baptised has brought me and Peter (her son) closer together on both sides".  Due to her disability Winnie had to be assisted into the baptismal font by being strapped to a stretcher and be carried in by those officiating.  Of this she said "I was a little nervous", however, this was a demonstration of her courage and faith in others to perform the ordinance safely.

Sister Smith's baptism was conducted by her son Peter Appleyard and her two grandsons, Luke and Tim Appleyard.  She is now looking forward to possibly having the opportunity to meet church leaders in the future and feels there is more change to come, even at 93.

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