TRIBUTE has been paid to volunteer church minister and life-long youth worker the Reverend Peter Ball who has died at the age of 66.

The vicar for Freeland and Hanborough was about to take on the role of president of Rotary Oxford but passed away after an operation to treat his liver cancer.

His wife Denise said: “Family alway came first with Peter and some of his proudest moments were taking part in his daughters’ weddings and the birth of his one-year-old granddaughter Bethany.”

Mr Ball grew up in Hayes, Middlesex and attended Mellow Lane Comprehensive school from 1961 to 1966 and Southall College of Technology part-time until 1971.

He worked as a deputy youth and community worker in Birkenhead from 1973 to 1974 and then held a similar post until 1976 in Banstead, Surrey.

He was working for Churches Together at the time of his death.

Outside of youth work, Mr Ball had keen interests in music – he played the guitar – and photography.

He was a member of the National Trust and English Heritage and enjoyed visiting their various nature and historical sites.

During his life he was a director of Adventure Plus, a school governor; a member of Rotary Oxford and worked with the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC) on the best-kept village competition. He was due to become president of Rotary Oxford for 2016/17.

He loved travelling and enjoyed many holidays abroad, the last being Venice in April. He had a keen interest in the Taize community in France having visited there several times. He held services in aid of the community once a month in St Mary’s church Freeland.

Mr Ball died on June 8. His funeral took place on June 24.