Ruth Angela Mary Fanshawe

 Ruth Fanshawe - picture used for cremation service booklet

21st February 1930 – 16th April 2020

Tuesday 5th May 2020, 2.00pm

Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton

Film of the Service

Order of Service

Entrance Music

God so Loved the World – John Stainer

Welcome and Opening Prayer

Father Jeroen Hoogland


A Sonnet of Love by Richard Elwes

Read by Christopher Fanshawe

I have been greeted by long absent friends
and loved the starting pleasure in their eyes;
have known the silence as the singer ends,
holding the listeners dumb with ecstacies;
have filled my nostrils from the opening rose,
have shouted verse, exulting, down the wind,
have gazed at moonlit water as it flows,
and morning mountains with the sun behind;
have felt the blessed ease that follows pain,
and heard great tides of music as they sweep;
have found lost infant memories again,
seen heaven-visiting children fast asleep.
I summon up these joys, each one apart –
and I have held my love against my heart.

First Reading

Isaiah 25:6-9 – Read by Freya Fraser

The Lord will prepare a banquet for every nation

On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, He will destroy Death for ever.  The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; He will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.  That day, it will be said:  See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation;  the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.  We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.


Tell Out My Soul

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of his word;
In God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
His mercy sure, from age to age the same;
His holy name, the Lord, the mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by;
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
The hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children's children and forever more!

Second Reading

John 14:1-6  Read by Alastair Fraser

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God still, and trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you.  I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too.  You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’


Read by Minnie Fraser

When thinking about what to say for this, my siblings and I realised how truly blessed we have been! I know a lot of people must think their Mums are the best in the world, but genuinely, Mum (Ruth) was absolutely wonderful and our family are so, so lucky to have had her in our lives.  The challenge now is to put this across in just a few minutes, but I will do my best.

Mum had unwavering faith in God who was such a great influence in her life, but she didn’t appear to have to work hard at being a good Catholic – it was innate, God made her that way!  I tried to remember whether she had ever done anything I thought was bad or had upset me and I genuinely couldn’t think of anything! Maybe she really was an angel or a saint!!!

Mum was kindness personified, everyone was equal in her eyes.  When we were children in London Colney, a tramp called Alan George Ealing used to call on us. Mum would give him a huge cup of tea and something to eat and a packet of sandwiches wrapped in foil to take with him.  But best of all, she would listen patiently while he talked and talked!  In my teenage years when we lived at Bampton, we almost took it for granted that if we appeared unannounced with a friend or two, that space would be made at the dinner table and the food would stretch to feed the extra mouths.  Space was even made in our home for one of my friends – Chris – when he was evicted from his lodgings.

She was such a loving wife and mother!  As a parent it is difficult getting the balance right between protecting your children and allowing them to make their own mistakes and learn from them.  Mum did a brilliant job and as Kate says, she carried on with that even into adulthood giving us sage advice on how to deal with adult relationships which really helped.  She was also an amazing Grandmother, helping to care for her grand-children whenever she was able.  Us Frasers benefitted immeasurably from this – she worked so hard, tirelessly and selflessly – what on earth would we have done without her?

Mum was the grounded and practical core of our sometimes very chaotic family!  I love Kate’s way of explaining this – remember the Mickey Mouse film where Goofy is sleepwalking having banged his head and Mickey desperately finds things to put under his feet to stop him falling?  Well, that was Mum – except she managed to do it calmly and efficiently, keeping the earth beneath our errant feet!

One of the best things she ever did was undoubtedly marrying Dad!  They had such a happy, harmonious marriage!  In my whole life, I only remember one argument between Mum and Dad.  Dad had done some DIY in the drawing room and when he finished, Mum cleaned away all the resulting dust.  Afterwards, Dad noticed some flaw in his work, took the sandpaper to it, Mum took exception to the new mess and there was some shouting.  Ruddle, our sweet dog, heard this unusual commotion, ran in between them and started barking – they stopped shouting and started laughing!  Tabby remembers being at Mass with Mum and Dad and inadvertently stepping in between them in the communion queue.  Dad put his hand on her shoulder and whispered that he always wanted God to see the two of them together and would she mind if they swapped places?

I think that is a fair picture of Mum as a wife, mother, grandmother – and now of course a great-grandmother.  But she was so much more than that!  Mum had a really wicked sense of humour!  The fact that she was such a good, sweet, kind person accentuated the effect making that wickedness all the more hilarious!  She loved to tell funny stories from her life and had a great selection of eye widening jokes and poems which are definitely not suitable to tell here!  She was a very talented artist who trained at Chelsea School of Art and painted, sculpted and made lovely pottery.  She was so practical, if there was a job that needed doing, she saw it as a challenge, got a book and did it.  She redid the canework chairs, made loose covers, stencilled decoration round the house, mended clothes, made picture frames, mended the washing machine and the lawn mower – you name it, she did it!  She was also a gifted musician.  She asked for a keyboard for her 70th Birthday and it had a wonderful church organ voice so she learned to play one of her favourite pieces - Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor.  She played it beautifully!  I think she would have a wry smile to think that this is the piece we will hear shortly as the curtains close and her coffin makes its exit.

At the end of her life, Mum actively looked forward to dying, this is because she knew where she was going and it is a fabulous place!  After her cousin Julia got her to read Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander, she encouraged us all to read it.  It is the story of a neurosurgeon’s journey into the afterlife while he was in a coma with meningitis.  He flew on the butterfly’s wing to the most wonderful place full of joy and unconditional love – that’s where Mum is now, reunited with Dad after 30 years of being apart.

Prayer of Commendation

Father Jeroen Hoogland

Final Poem

From the Dream of Gerontius by St. John Henry Newman

Read by Gavin Fraser

Softly and gently, dearly-ransomed soul,
in my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
and o'er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.
And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
and thou, without a sob or a resistance,
dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.
Angels to whom the willing task is given,
shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as liest;
and Masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven,
shall aid thee at the Throne of the Most Highest.
Farewell, but not for ever! sister dear,
be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
and I will come and wake thee on the morrow.
Farewell! Farewell!


Prayer and Blessing

Recessional Music

Bach’s Toccata in D Minor – Hannes Kastner