TRIBUTES have been paid to a kind and friendly great-grandmother after her death.

Margaret Connelly passed away on Saturday, aged 88.

The family-orientated woman was a keen church goer, devoted to her parish and the friends she had made at St Patrick's Church in Great Moor Street.

Her daughter, Anne Marie Sefton, said: "She was always at the church, she's cleaned the building with my dad, been to every mass available, it was her social life.

"She loved baking, and was always willing to listen. She would tell you the truth whether it's what you wanted to hear, but she always meant well and was always helping other people.

"She helped a lot of people in her life, and she was always on the phone to her friends."

Mrs Connelly leaves behind her husband, William, daughter Anne Marie, son Andrew, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Her other daughter, Susan Pitfield, sadly passed away in 2017.

Born in 1931, the Boltonian was raised in the borough, and lived in the same house on Dorset Street for over 60 years.

She joined the congregation at St Patrick's Church when she moved into her long-standing home, and was even awarded the Benemerenti Medal awarded by Pope Francis for her service to the Catholic Church last year.

Mrs Sefton added: "She was a bit overwhelmed with it at first but the certificate is on the wall now.

"My mum used to put her medal on every Sunday to go to church, she was very proud of it.

"She couldn't believe how much fuss was made about her, although she always liked the picture from that day, she said 'I look good in that one'.

"I think she deserved it, her life revolved around her family and the church."

Mrs Connelly was given the award at mass in August by Father Michael Haworth.

The rare honour came directly from Pope Francis, and was granted to Mrs Connelly for her long service to the community, after she worked hard to ensure her church would remain open for services.