Sadly, 2020 began with news of the passing of our dear friend, Les Alden.
Les was a church warden at St Giles’ for many years and a long-serving choir member. He was baptised at St Giles’ and married his fellow choir member Pat, who later became the vicar of nearby St Phillips’ Church, Avondale Square. One of his greatest achievements was his help towards restoring the crypt and setting up our jazz club, which continues to entertain jazz lovers 25 years on.
Whilst his work at St Giles’ played a big part in his life, Les was elected as a Southwark councillor in 1971 and served for 21 years. He held various roles during his tenure including chair of social services, chief whip and deputy leader. He worked closely with several local charities, including Southwark’s People Care Association. His voluntary role here saw Les organise ten years of Christmas parties for thousands of OAPs struggling with loneliness. For his contribution to local charities, Les was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours.
We wish Les’ family all the very best and look forward to welcoming them and Les’ many Southwark friends and supporters to a memorial service at St Giles’ later in the year.