TRIBUTES have been paid to Marjorie Phelps MBE, founder of Marah Trust, a charity which helps homeless and marginalised people in Stroud.

Marjorie died on October 20 aged 93 years, and a private funeral took place on Friday at Stroud Baptist Church on John Street.

Marah trustee and former Stroud MP David Drew said on Facebook: “We owe so much to Marjorie for helping set up Marah to care for Stroud’s homeless and hungry. Her legacy has never been more needed today as I see as a trustee. A true Christian who gave all she had to those less fortunate than herself.”

Marah was founded after Marjorie and some friends from her church began taking coffee, light refreshments and socks to people who were homeless in winter.

A base was formed in a room at Stroud's St Laurence Church, but the charity has since grown to gain the support of many churches of different denominations.

Marjorie received an MBE in 2006 for her community work.

Tributes have been paid on Facebook for Marjorie, who spent her working life as a teacher, including 19 years at Whiteshill Primary and two years at Callowell in Stroud.

Jayne Knowles-Smith said: “Best and most inspirational person that has taught me. I hope when it's safe a memorial service can be held for her to celebrate her life.”

Victoria Temple said: “Sad news, she was an inspiration.”

“Great lady, I learnt a lot from her about judging people,” said Janis Dyer.

Alison Hustwitt posted: “I remember meeting the Marah crew in my early days with the Drug and Alcohol Team. They were so passionate and it is such a credit to her and the others that it developed into a positive force for good.”