THE father of a Chester woman who has died at the age of 35 has paid tribute to a "beautiful daughter".

Michelle Jennings grew up in Chester and was employed at a number of businesses in the city, making many friends, while also getting involved in charity work, and had seven brothers and sisters.

But tragically, Michelle had been battling with her mental health and sadly took her own life on October 3.

Due to current coronavirus restrictions, a maximum of only 30 people will be permitted to attend her funeral at St Werburgh’s Church in Grosvenor Street, before being laid to rest at Blacon Crematorium on Friday, October 30.

People are instead being encouraged to wear purple – Michelle's favourite colour – and pay their respects during a horse-drawn procession which will go through Chester city centre on Friday.

John Jennings, Michelle's father, wrote: "Michelle Louise Jennings was born on June 17, 1985. She was a beautiful healthy baby full of life from the day she was born.

"As soon as she found her feet, well there was no stopping her.

"Michelle attended St Theresa RC infant school in Blacon, Upton Westlea Primary School and the Catholic High School in Handbridge.

"Michelle loved sports including, running, football, basketball and all outdoor activities where she always gave 100 per cent and excelled in her chosen categories.

"Michelle even wrote her own book when she was only 15 after a trip to Dehon House with the school, where she writes it helped her lots after getting in with the wrong crowd.

"After leaving school, Michelle went to Deeside College to study Exercise & Fitness NVQ.

"Michelle had numerous Jobs at the VW garage, the George & Dragon and the Queen Hotel, and B&M where she made many friends. Michelle and her brother John also came to work with me in the building trade.

"Michelle’s mental health problems started in her teens, We have just found boxes of diaries dating back to 2001 where she was very confused about her sexuality. The diaries give me an insight into how things affected her and how she struggled from day to day which is just heart-breaking for a dad to read.

"Seeing how bad things got as she wrote every thought that was on her mind, and how the hospital had turned her away from A&E where she tried to seek help, even telling me once she would not harm herself!

"I only wish I had found these diaries sooner...could she have been saved?

"The lockdown has made things so much worse for Michelle, not being able to go to the drop-in centres such as the Spider Project in Newtown or Crisis centre, where she helped out for the homeless.

"I had a beautiful day out with Michelle in Llandudno just a few weeks ago where she was her fun-loving self. I will cherish that day for as long as I live.

"On October 3, about an hour after I’d text her, she ended her own life.

"I had no idea she was going to do what she did.

"Because of the Covid rules we are only allowed 30 family members in the church and 29 in the Crematorium.

"So I have decided to ask all friends and family and Michelle’s friends to follow the cortège/procession from Whitby Sports and Social Club, Dunkirk Lane, Ellesmere Port, CH65 6QF at 10.50am, where you can pick up a purple flag to attach to your car, to Chester where her four white horses will pull Michelle’s carriage holding her white coffin through Chester city centre, where friends are invited to pay their respects and line the pavement (social distancing).

"Approximate time will be 11.40am along Eastgate Street under the clock and onto St Werburgh’s Church in Grosvenor Park Road.

"Then her final resting place at Blacon Crematorium, where you can watch live on your phone.

"Please wear something purple, Michelle’s favourite colour, maybe a purple flower as she goes past. Any donations should go to Michelle’s Justgiving page for MIND charity."

John added: "I would like to thank Anderson’s Family Run Funeral Directors and to Catherine personally, who was one of Michelle’s school friends and runs the family business.

"Cat, I am forever grateful for the way you have looked after my beautiful daughter.

"The respect you have given her and all her family is heartwarming and every time I have been to see Michelle she looks like an angel at peace in her beautiful resting place. This has given me strength to get through this worst time in my life.

"Fly high my little angel, till we meet again."

  • Anyone with mental health issues can contact MIND's infoline on 0300 123 3393, email or text 86463 anytime between 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, contact Samaritans at any time. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone) or email