Hundreds of people celebrated the life of Accrington ‘saint’ Dorothy McGregor when they attended her funeral this week.
St Anne’s Church was packed to the rafters as mourners turned out to remember the Maundy Relief founder, who died on May 3 following a battle with cancer.
As her coffin was driven through Accrington, people lined the streets to pay their respects – applauding as the coffin passed her former home on Abbey Street.
People came from as far away as London to say their goodbyes to the former nun and nurse, who devoted up to 100 hours a week at Maundy Relief. Among them was Dorothy’s close friend, Maundy patron and Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who gave a moving eulogy. In a statement, Dorothy’s family said it had been a ‘lovely and friendly’ event.
They said: “It was a simple funeral but we had trouble getting through the door it was so packed. When we went past where she lived it was full of people standing by the side of the road applauding, which was really moving.
“Julie Hesmondhalgh gave a lovely eulogy about what good friends they were and the parish priest spoke very well of Dorothy. It was a lovely service.
“Dorothy was a wonderful person. After all the pain she suffered it was a blessing that she had moved on. It was a lovely way to say goodbye.”
Mayor Coun John Broadley was among a good turnout of Hyndburn council members who attended the funeral. He said: “There were people from all walks of life. Julie Hesmondhalgh gave a really good speech which would have done her proud.
“Dorothy dealt with people who had nothing and helped them immensely. She was an extremely good person.” Dorothy, 80, died at home on May 3 after she was admitted to hospital in March suffering from oesophageal cancer. Staff at Maundy Relief have vowed to carry on the charity in her honour and Hyndburn Council members are due to discuss an appropriate tribute in coming weeks.