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Bishop David writes from Denmark

Bishop David Coles gives thanks for the laughter and wisdom that Lynda Patterson shared.

Taonga News  |  29 Jul 2014

Dear Bishop Victoria, 

It is not possible for us to be with you today as Dean Lynda's funeral eucharist is celebrated in the Transitional Cathedral, but we will be there with you all as part of the extended family of the Cathedral upholding Lynda and her own family while we are here in Denmark.

The news came as a shock, of course, as I had a close part in enabling her to come to the Christchurch Diocese and also the privilege of ordaining her as a priest in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I give thanks for the joy and laughter and the deep wisdom she shared with us as a young priest, nurtured in the faith in her native Ireland and educated in Oxford and joyfully adopted by the Anglican Church in this land.

I have an abiding memory of Lynda on the afternoon we interviewed her in Christchurch to become an ordination candidate.

As I drove home afterwards, I spotted her walking around Hagley Park with a large book held high so she could read it as she walked. I hope she didn't bump into anyone, but it reminds me how hard Lynda worked to achieve such amazing results with her preaching and teaching.

She worked long hours and produced such memorable sermons and such skilled writing, but I know that it came with a cost. She put so much of herself into everything she did.  

I am sure that is why so many people responded so warmly to her as a person and as a priest. 

We had been looking forward to returning to worship at ChristChurch Cathedral under Lynda's leadership as Dean at the end of this year.

Instead, we give thanks for what she was able to give to us and we rejoice that, as St Paul reminds us, 'the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is about to be revealed to us' (Romans 8:18).

May Lynda rest in peace and rise in glory!

Ma Ihowa e tiaki tou haerenga atu, me tou haerenga mai: aianei a ake tonu atu


The Rt Revd Dr David Coles
Locum Chaplain
St Alban Copenhagen with Aarhus