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Service honours ‘Reverend Jenny’

The Rev Jenny Henson. PHOTO/FILE

Funeral on Thursday

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Carterton’s St Mark’s Anglican Church was close to capacity for yesterday’s service – a service that the Rev Jenny Henson [pictured] would normally have assisted with.

Instead, the congregation and family members gathered to honour the 76-year-old who tragically died on Friday in a motor vehicle crash in Carterton.

The Rev Andy Eldred led the 9am service with Reverend Maggie Smith, both close friends and colleagues of Jenny.

The church congregation took Holy Communion and many people hugged and were in tears as they came forward.

Members of Jenny’s family attended the service, some coming from outside the region, because they wanted to be in her church at this time.

“It was a huge moment for the church community to be together in a service so soon after Jen’s death,” Eldred said. “But there is comfort in being together.

“People needed hugs and being in church was the right place to be for us, we needed to hold the service.”

Her four children – Stuart, Julie and Geoffrey Henson, and Kirsty van de Geer – said their mother was an incredible woman who raised them alone after their father died aged 34.

A former nurse, they said “her life was full”.

“She has married, baptised and consoled families through their own grief and funerals for over two decades.”

Jenny was killed when a 47-year-old Wairarapa man drove his car at high speed on the wrong side of the road towards her vehicle and smashed into it head on, just after midday on Friday.

He is in police custody and appeared in Masterton District Court on Saturday on a charge of dangerous driving causing death. His next appearance will be in Lower Hutt District Court on Thursday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Bysouth said Wairarapa police were investigating the fatal crash further with the Serious Crash Unit.

“We have been working with the family who are at the front of our minds at the moment,” Bysouth said.

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang said Friday was a “very sad day for the community”.

“My sympathies go out to friends and family,” he said. “The death is very unfortunate, and the Carterton community is really feeling it.”

The family are holding a “celebration of Jenny’s life” at St Mark’s on Thursday at 1pm.

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