Dromore Cathedral was filled to capacity on Sunday for the second funeral service of The Very Rev Lynda Patterson, who died while serving as Dean of Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand.
The 40-year-old Oxford graduate was found dead at her New Zealand home two weeks ago after failing to turn up to Sunday service.
The first funeral service for the leading Dromore cleric was held in New Zealand on July 29, where it was attended by a raft of senior clergymen from the country.
The Rev Patterson’s body returned home to the Province on Friday on the same flight as her friend the Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews. The funeral procession left her parents’ Dromore home at 1.45pm for a 2.30pm funeral service conducted by the Ven Roderic West and the Rev Trevor McKeown.
An hour before the cortege arrived at the church the church was filled, bar those pews reserved for family and close friends.
The Rev. Patterson was buried later in the adjoining churchyard.
Thehe Rt Rev Matthews told mourners: “This is not easy for us. We are devastated and we feel our life has lost a wheel and is stuck deep in the mud.
“All I can say as a fellow mourner and close friend of Lynda is that our challenge is to do what Cedric and Evelyn did when Lynda went off to Oxford University and New Zealand.
“Her loving parents said to her, ‘We have prepared you for this moment. It is time to go where you were called’. And she did. And she has.” She added: “Dean Lynda Patterson was a theologian who had the most common touch, who could take the most complex theology and make it accessible to the people in the pew.
“She had an extraordinary ability to make clear what was complex.”
Bishop Matthews said that in “accepting the call to ordained ministry” Rev Patterson “rolled up her sleeves and helped people address and recover from any number of difficulties”.
She added: “She was Christ’s hands and feet, heart and voice in more ways than can be described.
“She helped people who had been bowled over by life’s tragedies stand up and walk.
“She proclaimed the Gospel and lived the Gospel.
“Because she knew the love of God in Jesus Christ her Lord and the power of the Spirit.”