Funeral date is set for popular Wimbledon vicar and community activist
Tributes have poured in for popular Wimbledon vicar and Chair of Merton Commerce Andrew Wakefield, who died on Wednesday October 26.
The vicar of St Andrew's in Herbert Road was a well-known figure in the Merton community and had recently been made an honourary doctor of divinity from the University of Roehampton for his 30 years of service to the borough.
Merton Council has opened a book of condolence which is available at the Civic Centre in his honour.
His funeral will take place at 11am on Tuesday 15 November at his church: St Andrew’s, Herbert Road, Wimbledon, SW19 3SH
The service is open to anyone who would like to be there, with mourners encouraged to wear a pink button hole as pink was his favourite colour.
Instead of floral tributes, a Just Giving page has been set up to support a local charity that Andrew was instrumental in setting up:
Merton Chamber of Commerce said: "Andrew was a key figure in Merton and South London, undertaking many roles in making our community inclusive, safe and a great place to live and do business.
"He will be greatly missed and our condolences go to his family, friends, colleagues and all those who worked with him from his early work as a vicar in Pollards Hill to the current day."
Council leader, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said:
"I want to express my shock and sadness at the news of Andrew Wakefield’s death. Andrew was a pillar of the community and very much part of the Merton family."
Councillor Oonagh Moulton, Leader of Merton Conservative Group said: “I am shocked and very sad to learn the terrible news of Andrew’s death. On behalf of Merton’s Conservative councillors, I extend our deepest sympathy and condolences at this difficult time to all his family, friends and colleagues.
“Many of us have known Andrew for years and I have always been impressed with his boundless energy and enthusiasm for everything he did for our community, including as a champion of local businesses. He was devoted to improving the lives of Merton residents by bringing together people from different faiths and backgrounds and working for the good of the whole borough. The gap he leaves will be extremely hard to fill."
Andrew was a keen advocate of Twitter and many tributes to him have been posted through Merton Chamber's Twitter account:
TheWimbledonSociety @WimSoc @MertonChamber everyone here saddened to hear of Andrew Wakefield's passing. Our best wishes to his loved ones and colleagues, this sad day.
Ann Pugh @annpugh Replying to Merton Chamber So sad to hear of Rev Andrew's passing. A Twitter, Springsteen & Peace friend ☮
Cllr Daniel Holden@DanHolden85 I'm shocked and saddened at the news that Rev Andrew Wakefield has passed away. He was a stalwart of the community and will be missed #RIP
Need 2 Succeed @Need2SucceedUK Another great champion of social change and advocate for the marginalised, taken too soon. RIP Andrew #moderndaylegend
Stephen Midlane @stephenmidlane So sad. A great friend to Polka Theatre and a huge force for good in our local community. I will miss him for his humour and moral passion.
Suzanne Evans @SuzanneEvans1 This is a great shock. Andrew was a significant figure at the heart of Merton's civic and inter-faith communities. He will be badly missed.
Siobhain McDonagh MP @Siobhain_MP Retweeted Merton Chamber Ever so sad to hear of the untimely passing of @MertonAndrewLCF - a pivotal local leader who will be sorely missed.
Do you remember Andrew? Why not pay your own tribute on our forum?
October 26, 2016