St. George’s church has probably never been so full—of people, of Presence, of sorrow and of joy—as it was recently for the funeral of Ave Petch, longtime parishioner and tireless community worker.
Chris Postlethwaite knew her well. The following is excerpted from an article Chris wrote for the parish newsletter back when Ave was awarded "The Bishop’s Award for Faithful Service" from then Archbishop Terence Finlay.
"Ave received the award for her untiring service to her God, church and the community throughout the years. This has included her quiet work as Directress of the Chancel Guild, assisting [then rector] Christopher [Greaves] with server training, working with brides for their wedding arrangements, and decorating the church for festivals and special occasions as only Ave can, with such artistic talent.
She has been instrumental in keeping the ACW functioning, and has made endless phone calls for organizing Pancake Suppers, receptions for funerals, comforting the families, and organizing fund-raising lunches. The list is endless, but all these functions are handled with quiet dignity and tasteful presentations.
As Director of the 4 C’s, she dons another hat, and organizes the ordering, receiving, and distribution of huge quantities of groceries for the food bank. She has been involved with this organization since its inception by the Rev. Trevor Denny in 1979.There is no mistaking Ave’s love for God, and her courage to serve Him. She may not be a missionary in faraway places—her discipleship is close to home, where she has shown by her actions that serving God is a rewarding and often humbling experience."
All the activities Chris mentioned Ave kept up till her sudden passing.
As the master in the book of Matthew congratulates his servant on faithful and fruitful activity, we know our Lord does the same for our friend and fellow-parishioner, Ave Petch. We’ll miss you, Ave.