Fiona Castle speaks at Petworth lecture

John Riddell and Fiona Castle SUS-141028-142851001
John Riddell and Fiona Castle SUS-141028-142851001

THE widow of the late comedian Roy Castle, Fiona Castle, told a packed audience in Petworth to ‘Get out and get on with life’.

A former dancer and singer who was married to the well-known entertainer Roy Castle, Fiona spoke of ‘Living without Regrets’ following her widowhood when Roy died of lung cancer.

Fiona was the guest speaker at the latest Petworth Area Churches Together lecture, held twice a year at St Mary’s Church in Petworth.

Audience member John Riddell said: “More than 150 people gathered to hear the remarkable story of a seemingly successful 35-year-old wife and mother who ‘inside, was falling apart’.”

The pressure of expectations increasingly led to unhappiness and to a point of despair, she told the audience.

“Fiona said her life was turned around when a friend phoned to say she had been thinking of her and invited her for coffee,” added John. “As a result of a wise and caring conversation, helping her to rediscover the real person God intended her to be, Fiona described how this was the best and most defining thing that ever happened to her. She set new priorities in caring for her husband and family over the busy social whirl of a celebrity household.

“While she didn’t feel she could offer a ‘blue print for bereavement’, Fiona spoke of an inner peace, which in the years when Roy became ill, enabled them to walk through it with hope.”

Just two days after Roy’s death, Fiona received a phone call requesting her to be interviewed on a television programme.

A strong inner conviction that she should ‘get out and get on with life’, enabled her to rise to the challenge and not to wallow in self-pity. This led on to a determination to find and fulfil her dreams.

“This was the key to living without regrets,” said Fiona.

Fiona, who has written a book on coping with cancer, five anthologies of prose and poems and has also been a presenter at Premier Radio, was awarded an OBE for her charity work.

“Write a list of ten things you really wanted to do,” she told her audience.

“It’s never too late.”

Gerald Gresham Cooke, the organiser of the event, said, “This was an interesting, relevant speaker with lots of application.

“Many have said they found the talk most inspiring.

“I’ve already started on my bucket list!”

The PACT Spring Lecture 2015 is planned for Friday, May 15, at St Mary’s Church, when Michele Guinness will be the speaker.

Michele worked for many years as a presenter, researcher and writer for national television and radio. She was a communications manager with various health authorities and is a prolific author of titles including ‘The Heavenly Party: Recover the Fun – Life Changing Celebrations for Home and Community’.