It is with regret that we inform you of the death on the 9th day of March, 2022, in Southport Hospital, Merseyside aged 82, of
Miss Anne Shelley
Mill Hill Missionary
May she rest in peace
Anne was one of our Associate Members. She was born in the town of Hucknall in Nottigham on the 24th of August 1939. Anne had five brothers and one sister. Anne’s father was Henry Shelley and her mother was Annie Shelley, nee Leach. Anne’s father was a local Civil Servant. Her family belonged to Holy Cross Parish in Hucknall in the Diocese of Nottingham. It was here that Anne was baptised on the 10th of September, 1939. She attended Holy Cross Primary and Secondary schools from 1944 to 1958. From 1958 to 1963 Anne attended Mansfield Secondary Technical School, where she achieved more “O” Levels and specialised in Domestic Science.
Anne’s first journey into mission work was when she volunteered with the Pallotine Fathers in Australia from 1963 to 1967. There, she was teaching Aboriginal children Domestic Science. She found such work very rewarding. So much so that after a couple of years working in an office in London, she volunteered again, this time as a lay missionary with the White Sisters in Kenya, 1969 to 1971. From 1971 until 1974 Anne joined the Voluntary Mission Movement (VMM) and taught at Musaka-Nkoni Girls’ Senior Secondary School in Kenya. There she taught typing and office practice as well as English. As Anne finished this contract with VMM she approached the Mill Hill Missionaries as a candidate for their Associate programme. She was accepted, and after an Orientation course took her first Oath of Association on the 25th of January, 1975. Her first ‘Contract’ was for five years.
In 1976, before taking up an assignment abroad, Anne followed a course in Teacher Training in Bolton, England. By the middle of 1976, Anne was appointed to work in the Diocese of Buea, Cameroon. Cameroon was to be Anne’s home for the next twenty years. There she was assigned to a teaching post which lasted until 1983, mostly working in Bonjongo. In 1985 she was appointed to the Archdiocese of Bamenda to work as a member of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Team. Also, while resident in Bayelle Mission, Anne was teaching here and involved in youth ministry. Latterly in Cameroon, Anne assisted with the Formation Programme.
Through the years Anne was challenged by failing hearing. By October 1996 Anne returned to England. However, she was still convinced of her ministry as an Associate of Mill Hill and wished to continue to serve the Lord and the Society at home. So, in 1996 Anne was appointed Assistant Librarian at Saint Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London. By July 1998 Anne was appointed Librarian of the extensive library at St. Joseph’s College. Indeed, throughout 2005 and 2006, Anne supervised the dismantling of the library as St. Joseph’s College was closed and sold.
As the college closed, Anne opted to retire to Herbert House in Formby, Liverpool. In October 2007, she participated in the 65+ Seminar in Rome. Anne soon found multiple ways to remain strong and active in Herbert House, and many ways to serve the community of fellow retirees; clearing up and setting the dining room tables in the refectory, looking after the sacristy, feeding the pond fish, and much, much more. In retirement Anne learned lip-reading.
Anne was attending Southport Hospital for a pre-procedure examination. Whilst sitting in a waiting room to be called she died peacefully on the chair. May Anne rest in peace and rise in glory. Due to Anne’s sudden death funeral arrangements will be made later, and will be announced on our Mill Hill Website.