Tributes have been paid to a dedicated and well-respected member of the church community in Borehamwood and Elstree, who died last week.

Valerie McIntosh, a reader at St Nicholas Church in Elstree, died last Saturday at the age of 68.

As a devoted member of the church, and a governor at St Nicholas School, Mrs McIntosh was very active in the community and was also well known in other parishes across Elstree and Borehamwood.

Before the appointment of the current vicar, the Rev Karen Sayers, Mrs McIntosh was one of the members who stood in to take services for nearly two years.

Archdeacon of St Albans, Helen Cunliffe, said: "Val was a dedicated worker for St Nicholas's, a wise preacher and a considerate visitor. As a reader of this diocese, Val took funerals across the team ministry, and will be greatly missed throughout the churches of Elstree and Borehamwood.

"She was a great support to Karen as she came into post, and her loss will be deeply felt by all at St Nicholas's."

Jane Cogan, headteacher at St Nicholas School, said: "She played a significant role in the school in the absence of a vicar as she undertook all the school services. If I had concerns about any one in the community, she would always make sure she would give time to these people. She was a friendly person who was always there."

Mrs McIntosh and her husband, Robert, moved to Elstree 39 years ago.

He said: "Looking at the number of cards we have received from people from all walks of life shows how popular Val was. She had a marked impression on people.

"She was known for her warmth, her love, her friendliness and constant encouragement. She loved her children and adored her grandchildren and she really enjoyed life."

Mrs McIntosh leaves behind her husband and four children, Tanya, Alison, Paul and Aaron.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, at 9.30am, at St Nicholas Church. It will be followed by a service at Allum Lane cemetery, with a gathering at Elstree Golf Club. Anyone who knew Mrs McIntosh is welcome. The family has requested that instead of flowers, donations should be made to the Peace Hospice in Watford.