Tributes to Accrington 'saint' who founded Maundy Relief charity

Dorothy McGregor

Dorothy McGregor

First published in News

TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘town’s saint’ following the death of Maundy Relief founder Dorothy McGregor.

The Accrington nun, who created the Abbey Street charity to help the homeless and those in need, passed away yesterday. In recent months the 79-year-old had had a spell in hospital after suffering exhaustion and was being cared for at home.

Her family had also announced she had decided to step back from hands on management into a ‘spiritual director’s’ role recently.

Following the announcement of her death tributes were paid to her selfless devotion to the less fortunate.

Hyndburn Council also pledged to fly the borough’s flag at half mast in her honour.

A Freeman of the Borough, she was described as ‘a saint’ by town leaders, who said her legacy would live on.

During her time at the helm of the Maundy Relief centre, Dorothy was known to arrive ready to help the needy at 6am and would not live until late at night.

Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “We have received the very sad news and we will be flying the flag at half mast from now until her funeral.

“What she gave to people will never be forgotten and her legacy will live on. It was a great honour to have known her and she was a wonderful representative of Accrington.

“We are here to offer any help and condolences to her family as they prepare to make arrangements for her.”

Opposition leader Peter Britcliffe said: “She is someone who always put others first. She is the nearest thing to a saint Accrington has ever had.”

Acting manager at Maundy Relief Lucy Hardwick said: "What few people knew about Dorothy was how much fun she was. She had such a wonderful sense of humour. Our work here is really serious but Dorothy never lost her sense of fun and she kept all our spirits up."

Maundy Grange sponsor and Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh said: “We were all just so lucky to have known her. This legendary figure, who zoomed around Accrington in her bob, denim habit and red lipstick. She will be talked about for decades.

“I am so proud to be able to say she was my friend. Now that she is dead we all feel a great responsibility to carry on her work. The work has not died with her and I hope the whole town gets behind us in her memory.”

Dorothy became a nun at 65 in 1998. Previously she had worked in a variety of professions, from running a sweet shop, to becoming a senior registered nurse, psychiatric nurse and social worker. At 40, she began working for the probation service which highlighted problems facing poor familes.

In 1996, following a chance meeting in a printing shop, Dorothy, and co-founders the Rev Len Singleton and Alan Freeman, began operating a 24-hour food parcel service for the needy from their homes.

Finding a cheap terrace on Abbey Street the facilty opened on Maundy Thursday, 1998, expanding into the property next door in June 2000.

Comments (12)

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2:01pm Sat 4 May 13

Scooby says...

So sad to hear. I know she'll be remembered by all those she helped and her work will carry on in her memory
So sad to hear. I know she'll be remembered by all those she helped and her work will carry on in her memory Scooby
  • Score: 2

2:44pm Sat 4 May 13

mavrick says...

Humanity has lost a great friend.
Humanity has lost a great friend. mavrick
  • Score: 3

3:02pm Sat 4 May 13

barbaraplatts says...

Barbara
Barbara barbaraplatts
  • Score: -5

3:09pm Sat 4 May 13

barbaraplatts says...

R.I.P Dorothy, it was a pleasure to have known you, you will never be forgotten and long may your good work carry on.
God Bless.
R.I.P Dorothy, it was a pleasure to have known you, you will never be forgotten and long may your good work carry on. God Bless. barbaraplatts
  • Score: 2

5:44pm Sat 4 May 13

george gently says...

A great lady very sad to hear she,s passed away
A great lady very sad to hear she,s passed away george gently
  • Score: 1

9:27pm Sat 4 May 13

Venomp says...

RIP
RIP Venomp
  • Score: 1

9:52pm Sat 4 May 13

maznia says...

R.I.P Dorothy. Accrington has lost a legend and she will be so sadly missed, we hope your legacy will live on. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time x
R.I.P Dorothy. Accrington has lost a legend and she will be so sadly missed, we hope your legacy will live on. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time x maznia
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Sun 5 May 13

nigel Rigby says...

So sad to hear of the passing away of Sister Dorothy McGregor, probably the most unselfish person that i know. Dorothy would do anything for anyone. Dorothy gave me lots of business in the early days of Lift-n-Shift Deliveries, she passed on much of the work moving her clients, and i was very grateful for that work. She was a tireless worker for the homeless, the needy, the old and infirm, the drug and alcohol abusers, anyone with a problem, anyone who just wanted to get in out of the cold, needed a hot drink, needed a friendly ear, she was everything to everyone. I look forward to the time when someone writes about dorothys life because she fitted so much into her 79 years. Probation Officer, Magistrate, Founder member of the Samaritans (Blackburn branch), Founder member Maundy Grange Charity and Relief, Black belt in one of the Martial Arts, Former model in her younger days, Qualified Nurse and Midwife, these are all positions that ive heard dorothy attained in her life, and there are probably others, I look forward to that book one day, and im sure dorothy would approve if all the funds went towards her charity. I hope the town considers a statue in memory of dorothy and all the good work she did for this town. I believe a fund should be started towards making a fitting, lasting tribute to "our" dorothy, because we all loved her so very, very much. I know dorothy will be with god, not because of her many acts of kindness, but because she always put others before herself, even before her own health and finally her dedication took its toil on her body. Bless you dorothy, im a better person for having known you, thank you for your help over the years, thank you for everything. I miss your smile, your warmth, your humour and sheer dedication. R.I.P.
So sad to hear of the passing away of Sister Dorothy McGregor, probably the most unselfish person that i know. Dorothy would do anything for anyone. Dorothy gave me lots of business in the early days of Lift-n-Shift Deliveries, she passed on much of the work moving her clients, and i was very grateful for that work. She was a tireless worker for the homeless, the needy, the old and infirm, the drug and alcohol abusers, anyone with a problem, anyone who just wanted to get in out of the cold, needed a hot drink, needed a friendly ear, she was everything to everyone. I look forward to the time when someone writes about dorothys life because she fitted so much into her 79 years. Probation Officer, Magistrate, Founder member of the Samaritans (Blackburn branch), Founder member Maundy Grange Charity and Relief, Black belt in one of the Martial Arts, Former model in her younger days, Qualified Nurse and Midwife, these are all positions that ive heard dorothy attained in her life, and there are probably others, I look forward to that book one day, and im sure dorothy would approve if all the funds went towards her charity. I hope the town considers a statue in memory of dorothy and all the good work she did for this town. I believe a fund should be started towards making a fitting, lasting tribute to "our" dorothy, because we all loved her so very, very much. I know dorothy will be with god, not because of her many acts of kindness, but because she always put others before herself, even before her own health and finally her dedication took its toil on her body. Bless you dorothy, im a better person for having known you, thank you for your help over the years, thank you for everything. I miss your smile, your warmth, your humour and sheer dedication. R.I.P. nigel Rigby
  • Score: 7

1:12am Mon 6 May 13

CLM2671 says...

Well done to the Lancashire Telegraph for bringing us this sad news. The Accrington Observer hasnt even mentioned it yet,,,,,a few days later!! So much for being a local paper, "bringing us up to date news"!! What do you expect when the office isnt based in Accrington any more!!

RIP Dorothy. You were an inspirational, dedicated, and kind lady. I was honoured to meet you and thank you for listening to me during my time of need. Accrington has lost one of its greatest people and will be a sad place without you.

God bless xx
Well done to the Lancashire Telegraph for bringing us this sad news. The Accrington Observer hasnt even mentioned it yet,,,,,a few days later!! So much for being a local paper, "bringing us up to date news"!! What do you expect when the office isnt based in Accrington any more!! RIP Dorothy. You were an inspirational, dedicated, and kind lady. I was honoured to meet you and thank you for listening to me during my time of need. Accrington has lost one of its greatest people and will be a sad place without you. God bless xx CLM2671
  • Score: 6

11:36am Wed 15 May 13

murielle says...

toknow dorthory was an honour she deserves to be regonised by the popeforthe love and devotion she gave to everyone no matter what their believes where i will never forget her and i wish maundy grange and her family gods love and bessings and may maundy grange continue for ever
toknow dorthory was an honour she deserves to be regonised by the popeforthe love and devotion she gave to everyone no matter what their believes where i will never forget her and i wish maundy grange and her family gods love and bessings and may maundy grange continue for ever murielle
  • Score: 1

1:07pm Wed 15 May 13

barbaraplatts says...

I no longer want to be alerted
I no longer want to be alerted barbaraplatts
  • Score: -1

1:09pm Wed 15 May 13

barbaraplatts says...

I no longer want to be alerted about my comment
I no longer want to be alerted about my comment barbaraplatts
  • Score: -1

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