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A Life Well Lived, Sylvia Scarf

Obituary for Sylvia Scarf OBE, Member of SI Bridgend

Our dear friend and dedicated Soroptimist Sylvia Scarf OBE died suddenly on 7th June 2022. Sylvia was recognised for her 30 years’ of service as a Soroptimist at our Club AGM in April having spent many years with SI Llantrisant and more recently joining us in SI Bridgend.

Sylvia receiving her OBE with Felicity Ladbrooke

I had known Sylvia for a long time through Girlguiding. She began her Girlguiding life as a Sea Ranger in Aberdare and never looked back. She introduced many to the joys of camping with the scouts, was county commissioner for Central Glamorgan and Vice President for Girlguiding Cymru. She easily made friends and was very loyal to everyone she met. She was great fun to be with and with a very dry wit her stories and sagas were always well worth listening to.

Sylvia worked for the Probation Service ending her long career as Chief Probation Officer for Mid Glamorgan. She also had a strong passion for community and charity work working with amongst others the Samaritans, the credit union, as a member of the South Wales panel for the Drug and Alcohol Service and as chair of the monitoring board at Parc Prison. However at the centre of her life were her love of God and her church as well as her Girlguiding. Indeed it was for services to the Anglican Church and Girlguiding that she was awarded her OBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2009.

As well as being an active member of her own parish in Llanharan, latterly as treasurer, she was for many years a lay reader for the Church in Wales. Sylvia never shied away from tackling challenging issues such as the role of women and homosexuals in the church. She always said one of her proudest achievements was enforcing child protection procedures within churches and Girlguiding. Indeed the esteem with which she was held was evident at her funeral service in Llandaff Cathedral, with no less than 5 Bishops and Archbishops present, with the eulogy given by her great friend the Right Reverend Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sylvia was certainly one of a kind and she will be greatly missed.