Betsy Buck of Garsdale

At Garsdale is an old Wesleyan Chapel built in 1886. Unlike some of the others of that dale, it was locked and in good state of repair, the grass mown and the windows intact, suggesting it might still be used for divine worship. Unusually for a non-con chapel, it had its own graveyard, on the stones of which were inscribed the names of local farming families. On the chapel itself were the names in stone of various benefactors, one of whom was Betsy E Buck. For some reason, the name stayed in my head. Whether she contributed munificently to the building fund, I do not know, but I have found a Betsy Eleanor Buck who was born in Garsdale in 1869 to Michael and Margaret Buck. If it was she whose name is on the stone, she would have been but 17 when the chapel was built. This seems rather young to be donating substantial sums, so it may have been given by her parents who wished her name be on the stone, or she might have been a vital cog in the fundraising drive. The source I used states that she died at Liverpool in 1947 as Mrs Betsy Brunskill. Whatever her contribution to that chapel’s construction, she was not worshipping there in her later life or final days. Whatever her input to Garsdale Methodism, it was others who would enjoy the fruits of her, and others’ labour.

When we work for the Lord, it is sometimes a future generation who enjoy the fruit of our labour, we seeing little of it in our own day. Abraham did not own the land he was promised save that which covered his corpse. Moses led the Exodus but failed to gain the land. Paul saw weak and struggling churches, not the great revivals that happened centuries after he passed. John saw the great visions of Revelation, but the great victory at Christ’s coming he was not permitted to see, at least from the angle of this world. So remember this when you serve the Lord. You may not see the results, while preparing a feast for people yet unborn.