Rev'd Dyllis Dickinson with Father Andy Shaw

To everyone in the Over-Wyre parishes:

As Andy would have said, I’m not naming names as I would probably manage to forget someone – so, to all our friends in the Over Wyre Parishes, I’d just like to say thank you so much for the messages of sympathy and support I’ve received over the last couple of weeks.  It has been totally overwhelming, but incredibly comforting.  Thank you again.

Judith Shaw

Fr. Andy Shaw

A congregation of over three hundred gathered on Friday 18th November at the Church of S. John the Baptist, Pilling for the funeral of Fr Andy, our much-loved Parish Priest.

The Service was conducted by Fr. John Hall, who had been Fr. Andy’s training incumbent in those formative, first years after Ordination.  He conducted the Service with both dignity and humour.

After the Funeral, many have commented upon how Fr John had captured so many of the characteristics of Andy so well.

The service was graced by the presence of Bishop Philip North, currently acting as Diocesan Bishop, who led the prayers.  The Archdeacon of Lancaster was also present in the congregation.  Fr Andy’s coffin was accompanied into Church by Local Licensed Ministers of the Benefice, Clergy of the Benefice and by Clergy and Local Licensed Ministers from across the Garstang Deanery.  There were representatives of other local Churches, including representatives of Pilling Methodist Chapel and St Williams.  There were also representatives of our local schools and from the many organisations that Fr Andy was involved with.  There were representatives of our Uniformed Organisations and those who work with young people across the Benefice.  There were also mourners from the Civil Service.  Churchwardens and Officers of our Parishes gathered with many from our congregations sharing in a moment of grief and profound thanksgiving.

We were remined by Fr John that Andy was not only our Priest but also a loving family man.  There were humorous and tender words of remembrance from Judith, and all the family.

There were several moments in the service that were unique and profoundly moving.  The singing was beautifully led by the combined choirs of our Benefice.  It will be service that will last long in the memory, and a fitting tribute to such a faithful, good, and holy Priest.

RIP: The Reverend Andrew Shaw MBE

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of our much-loved Parish Priest, Fr. Andy on the 7thNovember.  We all knew he had been poorly, but none of us realised his death was so imminent.  Our thoughts and our prayers go out to Judith and all her family.

The death of a Priest is unlike any other death, we feel it differently, perhaps more deeply.  A Priest touches our hearts and lives in so many different ways, and often at significant moments in our lives.  We can all speak of pastoral occasions where Fr. Andy has celebrated a Baptism or a Wedding for ourselves or a Funeral for a family member.  We can all speak of moments when wise words have encouraged us, given us a fresh perspective, or helped us in a moment of perplexity.  Fr Andy has been our faithful and loving Priest for so many years.  We shall miss him intensely.

He was a dedicated and hardworking Priest, children loved him, he was able to communicate with children on their level.  Many staff and pupils from our local schools have spoken so fondly of Fr. Andy.  He was a man of great humility, never putting himself forward, but quietly and very conscientiously working for the Lord.

He was a natural administrator and his organisation of such a vast and complex Benefice has meant that so much has happened in a variety of churches with a variety of liturgical and ecclesial styles.

He was utterly devoted to his ministry, serving God and his Church even from his hospital bed on the eve of his death. He was faithful to the end.

As well as a faithful Priest he was also a father and husband.  Our loss is great, theirs is greater still, and our love and prayers are offered at this time for Judith and all her family.

It is the privilege of a Priest to share in the celebration of Holy Communion.  Our liturgy is a mere foretaste of the heavenly banquet.  We pray that Fr. Andy may share for ever in the beauty of worship in heaven, surrounded by angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.

Well done though good and faithful servant

Enter into the father’s rest! (Matthew 25:21)

Tribute to Andy Shaw from Rev John Squires

I started to think about the past, as Andy and I go back probably further than many in the Benefice realise.

I first met Andy when we were both training with CBDTI, and I used to pick Andy up and take him to Rydal Hall for our training weekends away.   I was ordained a Deacon in 2008, whilst Andy was ordained a Deacon in 2010.  So we had many chats on the journey to Rydal Hall and back.

We both came to the Priesthood through being Licensed Readers.

Our paths did not cross again until he joined the Over Wyre Benefice as Associate Priest and latterly Parish Priest.

It soon became clear than Andy had strong skills in administration (and he got us all organised very quickly!); he was also a very hard worker; nothing seemed to be too much trouble and when something needed doing, it got done.

I find it difficult, like many, to come to terms with the loss of Andy.   I last spoke to him a couple of days before he died.  He phoned to ask if I could do two Baptisms at Hambleton.  I could tell from his voice that this was not the Andy we have all come to know.  He said he was shaking quite a bit and that it had taken him a while to dial my number.  Needless to say, I was extremely worried about him.

Andy, you will be missed by us all, we have not only a big gap to fill spiritually but also from a personal point of view you were a good friend.

May you now rest in peace, and rise in glory.