It is with great sadness that we report the death of the Reverend Doctor Andrew Wakefield, who dedicated his life to the Merton community.
Andrew was well known in the community as the vicar of St Andrew’s Church in Wimbledon and chairman of the Merton Chamber of Commerce and he had recently been made an honourary doctor of divinity from the University of Roehampton for his 30 years of service to Merton.
Andrew had many hats and relished bringing people together. He was an active member of the council’s Merton Faith and Belief Forum, chairman of the Credit Union, chairman of the Safer Neighbourhood Board, and led the Remembrance Day service outside the Civic Centre every year.
He also sat on the police’s independent advisory group and took every opportunity to promote and encourage community cohesion. When former councillor Krystal Miller was the mayor of Merton, Andrew organised and generously funded an inter-faith insignia for various faith group representatives to wear during their address to meetings of council.
He was a familiar face at every event in the borough, as well as council meetings, giving up many of his evenings to attend and get involved.
He was well respected by everyone who knew him and he always gave comfort to those who needed it in times of crisis.
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. He loved being involved in everything to do with the borough, whether that was as vicar of St Andrew’s Church in Wimbledon or as chairman of the Merton Chamber of Commerce. He had recently been made an honourary doctor of divinity for his 30 years of service to Merton although his first loves were Crystal Palace FC, cricket and his little dog Darcy.
“He will be hugely missed in the community.”
There is a book of condolence available in Civic Centre in London Road, Morden, for people to sign.