Kathleen was a founder member of St Anthony’s Church, Sandby Drive, Gleadless. Many people including Joan and Jack Goodwin, Mary Webster, Mrs Cooke, Margaret and Jack Harris, helped to raise money to buy land and then build a church. At that time we had Mass in one of the hangars in the RAF Camp on Norton Avenue, across the road from where the land was eventually purchased.
Originally there was the possibility of a school, church and church hall. Everybody worked hard including the priest who was appointed. People were moved from industrial Sheffield to Gleadless and Wybourn estates. Many families, including Kathleen’s parents, were moved to the Wybourn. Kathleen attended St Oswald’s School and Church. They were used to hard work and community togetherness. Kathleen married Bert Fields and they got a house on the new estate, the top side of the new Gleadless. There was to be a new church at the top side of Gleadless. Kathleen and all the young mothers worked hard to raise money to buy the land to build a church and other facilities.
Kathleen had three children, Mark, Marie and John. At the beginning the children used to be taken by minibus to school. The church on Sandby Drive was built. Parishioners continued to work hard. Kathleen Fields always contributed to all fund raising events. She used to dash into church on a Sunday morning with a prayer book in her hand, saying her prayers as she walked to Mass. Every week she would call into St Marie’s and buy another prayer book or her son, John, would call in for her.
Several of us used to attend St Marie’s on Holy Days and especially St Patrick’s Day. We would join in all the celebrations and end up for the rest of the day in Wetherspoons for a meal and a drink. Kathleen was full of fun, a realist, a very good friend, a dedicated Catholic from birth.
After her husband, Bert, died, she used to go on holiday with her sister, Maureen. Eventually she moved as she had broken her leg and the family thought it would be better for her to be in a flat. I was privileged to take Holy Communion to Kathleen.
Sadly, within a few days of a very short illness, she was taken from us. We are all in shock at the sudden death of Kathleen Fields, who dedicated her life to St Anthony’s. The Goodwin family continue to work hard and others within the community to raise money for St Anthony’s, a good, family-orientated community. May it continue.
God Bless Kathleen. May she rest in peace.
B M Stainrod