Gillian McLauchlan, RIP

Update: Just heard from Terri that Gillian’s funeral will be at 11am on Tuesday 26 November 2019 at Our Lady of Fatima, Commonwealth Avenue, White City W12 7QR followed by cremation at Mortlake Crematorium and a reception in the parish centre at White City.

We have learnt today of the death, last Sunday, of Gillian McLauchlan. Gillian, together with her twin sister Monica and mum Helena,put in a brief appearance on the very first pilgrimage in 1975. Gillian and Monica walked many of the early pilgrimages, and co-opted sister Theresa to join the support team in the late 70s and early 80s.

Gillian and Monica at the start of the 1977 Walsingham Pilgimage, at Arundel.

Gillian was one of the fast walkers of those early years, and she and I often walked stride-for-stride.

Eventually work got in the way of being a regular pilgrim, but Gillian always kept in touch and often turned up to call on the pilgrims when it was convenient. Looking back through my photos, in 2011 she was there at the start in Westminster and joined again (with Monica, driven by John Russell) at Birmingham.

Gillian chats to Geoff at Westminster
Gillian with John and Clare at Birmingham Botanic Gardens, after visiting the Oratory..

Having lost her twin sister to breast cancer, Gillian was diagnosed a few years ago with bowel cancer. She was pretty upbeat – last July she texted me to say “Chemo not working so tablets stopped. Liver function worse. Got to get on and enjoy slow but active life for as long as possible”. And in late August she told me she was off to Lourdes. She’d always been a great supporter of Handicapped Childrens Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT) as in this picture from 1981.

Gillian at the Cowdray Arms, 1981
Passing Cowfold Church, 1981- HCPT hat
Leaving Burpham Church at the start of the 1982 Papal Pilgrimage
Gillian with Margaret Nicholls and Geraldine O’Leary later on the Papal Pilgrimage, 1982
Gillian on the cliffs between Hythe and Dover, 1990 St Richard 2 Pilgrimage
Alongside the Thames in Ocfordshire, 1989 St Richard 1 Pilgrimage

May she rest in peace.

7 thoughts on “Gillian McLauchlan, RIP”

  1. So sorry to hear about Gillian. It was she who introduced me to the pilgrimage back in 1997 when I was grieving over my dad’s recent death. We met in the St Frances rambling group a few years before that.
    We were in touch until recently and she was, as others have said, accepting of her situation and wanted to live what was left of her life as well as she could.
    Would like to send a Mass card to her sister Theresa. Does anyone know her address?

  2. I am so sorry to hear of Gillian’s death. The last time I met her was at Jean Simon’s funeral when I gave her a lift to the station after the reception.She was always very positive especially after Monica’s death and determined to fight to enjoy life despite cancer.Do we know if the funeral has taken place or if not when and where?
    My condolences go to Teresa.
    Love and prayers
    Carol Pritchard(McMahon)

  3. Saddened to hear about Gillian’s death. I have many happy memories of past Pilgrimages, walking and chatting with Monica.

    She has now made her final pilgrimage back Home to Our Father …

  4. Upset to hear that Gillian has ended her pilgrimage here on earth – does anyone know of the date for her funeral if it has not already taken place?

  5. So sad to hear about Gillian. I think she joined us on our first pilgrimage when we stopped at Caterham where she was a parishioner at the time. She was the youngest member of the CWL at the time and working as a Nursery nurse. Over the years she and the rest of the family became “fixtures” at the pilgrimages. I send my thoughts and prayers to Teresa and the family.

  6. Gillian was always a true Pilgrim. Many happy years walking and chatting with her and Monica.

    Praying that Gillian may now Rest in Peace. Sorry we are not able to make the funeral tomorrow but assuring you of our prayers. Xx

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