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Jackie Ford’s tribute to Anne

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When Ian asked me to say a few words I prayed that the Lord would give me the words to do justice to such a special lady.
So Anne, this is from my heart and the hearts of your friends.

When I think of Anne, 3 things immediately spring to mind.
Hospitality, tiny tots and a listening ear.

I really got to know Anne when I was church warden and served a year with Jim. By that time Anne and Jim had already become an integral part of the church family and Anne brought her knowledge gained by being church warden in her previous church to help enrich our church family. Anne, being so God centred served Him tirelessly within the church family and for His glory.

Anne became Mrs Hospitality. If there was anything to do with the catering side, she was there, busy doing and as her health deteriorated she was still there making sure the job was done and to her standard!

She organised her kitchen with military precision: cups stacked in the cupboard with all handles facing the same way like a regiment of soldiers ready for inspection! But always for a reason – to make everything run smoothly like clockwork. Anne was there serving teas and coffees after services on Sundays, making delicious lunches for the marriage preparation days, soup lunches – working together with Lorna Pearson to serve the community of Nantwich every Friday for 18-19 years, and more recently organising and helping with refreshments for senior lounge.

She believed all we have is God given which was shown in her quiet unassuming generosity.

Anne just loved her ‘Diddies’ as she called the pre school children and was instrumental in helping Peter Chantry start Praise and Play in 2000 and led it every Thursday morning for Diddies and their carers during term time until very recently. It is still continuing under the name of Little Fish. Anne’s presence is still there as the worship begins with the ringing of the bell to get everyone’s attention, then the singing of the ssh song to settle everyone down followed by the lighting of the 2 candles one for the Diddies and one for Jesus. She was also committed to organising the craft activities for Mums and Tots every Tuesday in the Parish Hall.

And there is so much more I could say but for me personally Anne was a very special friend who supported me quietly over the years as I’m sure she has done for so many in the church family.

She was the one who listened when John my late husband was struggling and near to death. Anne and Jim with other members of the church family travelled to Norwich 6 months after John’s death to support me at my daughter Ailsa’s wedding.

In the last few months of her life she bore her pain with dignity, knowing that Jesus was travelling with her and upholding her. Towards the end in conversation with her she told me she could feel God’s presence and purpose. She was ready to meet her maker.
It has been a privilege and blessing for Anne to have touched my life and such a blessing that God gave us Anne to nurture and help grow the church family of St. Mary’s.

She shall be sorely missed.

Thank you Lord for Anne.

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