It is barely a week since we had the dreadful news of Dean Lynda Patterson's unexpected death. We will hold a simple memorial service for her this Sunday (27 July) at the Cathedral's 3.00pm Choral Evensong and I will attend her funeral in Christchurch this Tuesday. We (speaking for the other Deans) are all going to miss her dreadfully. Lynda was outstandingly intelligent and able to communicate in a fresh and engaging way; she was compassionate, had a great sense of humour and utterly dedicated to her calling as Dean to a cathedral (and a diocese) going through a very difficult time. Her faith and her theological thinking were so deeply grounded in God that the numerous challenges presented to Christchurch Cathedral and its future never seemed to overwhelm her.
It must be only a few weeks ago that she and I were talking about a pulpit swap next year and she was relishing the prospect of a study break in the European autumn - a glass of wine in a Rome piazza and then to the intricacies of the Mozarabic liturgy and the distractions of the Visigoths.
We remember Lynda because she is part of us and we will miss her and grieve for her. We also remember her because in doing so we remember Christchurch cathedral and the community which will be devastated by her passing; and we remember Christchurch Diocese and Bishop Victoria in these difficult days.
Below is the photograph from the Deans' Conference last year - a warm and happy memory.