Ann Avery’s Eulogy (Abridged)
Ann was born on the 14th March 1943, she was brought up in Stretford by her mum and dad, Jean and Raymond. She went to Stretford Grammar School and then on to work in Manchester after school.
She married in 1962. They started married life in Salford but soon moved to Stretford. Two children soon came along, John in 1964 and Jane in 1965. Whilst the children were young she had various jobs which included working in a bookies, being a wages clerk for the NHS and a clerical assistant in a clothing company. All of these jobs were in and around Manchester.
Throughout her life Ann felt a strong affinity to the city of Manchester where she, her husband Roy and their families had grown up and lived. She was ever a very proud Mancunian.
As her family grew up, they moved to Sale Moor where John and Jane enjoyed happy childhoods. A particular part of their lives there were the family holidays. Ann was a keen walker and she often included her children in this. These two things led to Jane and John both having a love for the North Country and the west of Scotland later in life. It was also whilst living in Sale that Ann became involved in the local church there.
There was always laughter in family life. Ann and Roy were obviously very happy together. As the children grew she began to look to other horizons. She turned more to her faith and to work that she felt would be more fulfilling. She became a nurse and worked at Wythenshawe Hospital she particularly enjoyed working in the cystic fibrosis and geriatric departments.
During this time her daughter Jane married Andy and she became a grandmother when Megan was born in 1992. This brought great joy not only to Jane and Andy but to Ann and Roy too. On his retirement Ann and Roy moved to Billington and it was then that she joined the church here in Whalley.
Suddenly in 1998 though life turned upside down for Ann. Her husband, Roy, passed away. It was a great shock and loss to Ann and her son and daughter. However happiness returned when Erin, her second grandchild was born to Jane and Andy in 1998. But sadly not long after this Jane became seriously ill. Ann devoted herself unstintingly to supporting and helping to care for her daughter and young family through the difficult illness which would eventually claim Jane’s life in 2005.
It was during this hard time that her faith strengthened. She had become involved in the church here as she had been in Sale and the support it offered her during this extremely difficult time was immense and was something she never forgot and the seeds of a deep and lasting commitment to the church and a friendship with Dorothy who supported her were planted.
John, Ann’s son, married Alison in 2004 and she again enjoyed having new members in her family including a grandson, Harry.
Ann was a woman of faith whose one over-riding desire was to share that faith with others. She attended several retreats at Chester, and it was whilst there that she met and became friends with Sister Pippa, who has been on our prayer list for some time. She enjoyed Spring Harvest and attended for a number of years. Following a successful Alpha Course Ann eventually opened up her home to a caring and successful House Group that met each week.
Very soon after becoming part of the Church here in Whalley Ann started the Traidcraft Stall, something that has successfully continued right up until very recently. She served as Church Warden here and was, along with Peter Ward, involved in Jonathan, our incumbent’s appointment. She was also project co-ordinator and worked alongside the Architect to achieve the Heritage Lottery Grant which went towards the cost of the recent extensive stonework repairs to this building.
Ann was part of the Renewal 2013 team; she set up a Book Club. She believed in team work, getting people involved, helping them to feel they belonged. She helped set up the readers rota, cleaning teams and organizing lifts for those
who needed to get from A to B. She was a valued member of the Mother’s Union and was even Deanery Secretary for a while.
The Pastoral Care Team is an area of work within this Church where Ann will be greatly missed. She worked hard to ensure the sick, elderly and housebound were ministered to regularly, not only befriending and supporting but taking out Holy Communion to them too. Always keeping an eye on our regular membership and would soon be checking out if someone was missing. Ann was a trusted support, friend and confidant to many not only within the Church but within her neighbourhood too. She valued and kept in touch with her friends both by phone and letter. She was a very straightforward woman who could be feisty and on occasion call a spade a spade but she also had a faith that could move mountains.
Ann was for a time a volunteer driver for the Poplar Club, taking disabled people to their various appointments. She was a great and loyal supporter of Bethany, always interested in the different projects for the children in Tanzania. Along with Dorothy she was a volunteer for Barnardo’s, helping wherever she could, be it with toddlers, corporate breakfasts in fact anything she was asked to do she’d do.
Ann loved books and had an extensive book and DVD library. She loved to stretch her mind; she studied Art and the History of Art with the Open University and obtained her degree at the age of 70, no mean feat. Over time she became an extended member of Dorothy’s family. She visited Dorothy’s mum regularly helping out there at Preesall, she especially enjoyed driving the tractor and even attended the church there and sometimes the Mother’s Union Group too. Ann and Dorothy enjoyed many happy caravan holidays, both being great walkers and enjoying nothing more than tramping the fells with Brid and Tess their trusty collie dogs. It was only in September that Ann and Dorothy spent a few days up in Northumberland. The sweetness and peace of the outdoors was like a balm to Ann.
One special place above all others stood out for Ann, Silverdale, an area of natural beauty, just south of The Lakes. It was a place she and Roy had enjoyed together, a place where she had taken her family and a place where they would still meet. It was where she always found her peace, the place she went after the death of Jane, her place of solace, a place where she felt close to God.
We all have our memories of Ann, a woman of both faith and service she was many of the things that makes us human but most importantly to John and Jane she was simply ‘mum’. So may she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.
Our friend Ann Avery
I would like to thank everyone for their care, concern and understanding especially during the last few weeks of Ann’s life. Ann needed peace and everyone was very respectful of that. Jonathan and Barbara administered communion regularly and finally they anointed Ann with oils. John, Ann’s son, was very aware of the importance of the church community in his Mum’s life.
She planned her own funeral and the words of the hymns and reading said so much about Ann’s faith and values. Thank you for coming and sharing in that service. Thanks also to Julie and Mike at Tastebuds for the refreshments after the services
Finally – thank you for the cards and messages sent to us. Your love and support is really appreciated.
Brid, Ann’s dog, has come to live with us and has settled in well.
Dorothy and David