Monica Rowbotham


Dr Monica arrived in Upton a quarter of a century ago: a retired child psychologist of some note. St Mary’s soon discovered that she could play the organ and was a keen Anglican. Many will celebrate her church life. On the PCC she was Deanery Synod representative from 1982-93. From 1984-95 she was a churchwarden, and the church throve under her quiet guidance. Her reading of lessons was spellbinding and her knowledge of Scripture profound. At entertainments in the village hall, Monica would be an enthusiastic thespian: her Albert and the Lion was wonderful and as Lady Bracknell her “A Handbag!” outshone Edith Evans. Her memory of long poems was enviable and her dramatic rendering of The Mermaid had us in fits of laughter. We discovered her ability as a teacher of recorder and piano, and the bond she had with young people. With recorder, viols and keyboard ability, Monica became involved in groups such as the Friday trio, where she played viola da gamba, and playing Bach and Monteverdi’s Arianna with Sine Nomine singers. It has always been rare to find in one person so many talents coupled with a warm heart and a keen mind. She always spared time to discuss the problems of others and the state of the nation. Today, we thank the Good Lord that she was here and celebrate the life of a great lady.

David Dendy
(An abridged eulogy given on 7 July at her funeral)