Christchurch mourns the loss of Dean Lynda Patterson
Christchurch is grieving over the loss of Dean Lynda Patterson, who died at home after a brief illness.
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Lynda died at home of natural causes after a recent illness. She was aged 40.
The Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews, says Lynda spoke of the God she loved, in all she did and said.
“Lynda was highly respected across the Diocese and Province and we all benefitted from her extraordinary preaching and teaching.
“She was also a great pastor who brought both compassion and appropriate humour to every situation.”
Bishop Victoria has asked for prayer for Lynda’s father and extended family in Northern Ireland.
The Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have asked for prayer for the Cathedral family to remember Lynda, a priest who called others to prayer for the glory of God.
Taught at Oxford University
Lynda Patterson first visited Christchurch in 2002 while on sabbatical from teaching theology at Oxford University.
She had studied theology at Oxford and lectured there for 12 years.
Her first year in New Zealand involved becoming “acclimatised to New Zealand culture”, learning Maori and studying for church ministry.
She was appointed Director of Theology House in Merivale in 2006, as well as assistant to Dean Peter Beck at the Cathedral.
She became Theologian-in-Residence in 2008, and took over the role of Dean last October
Dean Lynda was to have presided and preached at a special Choral Evensong – with choristers from the Christchurch Cathedral – at Saint Michael and All Angels next Sunday evening, 27 July.
I, for one, will miss her sweet presence with us at that service. Lynda was a great friend of us at Saint Michael’s, being, herself, a radiant Anglo-Catholic and a supporter of our inclusive ethic in the Church – that embraces ALL God’s children within the Body of Christ.
Her sermon would have been worth hearing. As former Dean Peter Beck has said; Lynda was a formidable preacher, with an accompanying turn of wit that was attractively encouraging to all who were privileged to hear her homilies and sermons in our transitional Cathedral. A scholar of biblical and theological expertise (she taught theology at Oxford University before becoming a theological resource in our diocese – where she received her Holy Orders), Dean Lynda was also a bearer of the love of Christ in her deep and thoughtful treatment of individuals.
A great support to our Bishop Victoria, Lynda was one of the small team who travelled around the world seeking inspiration for the new Cathedral she hoped would be built in the Square. Many will miss her delightful Irish brogue, and the sense of fun she brought with it into her extensive ministry around the cathedral and the diocese. If she had survived, Lynda might well have joined the ranks of women ordained bishop in our Church.
After a short but active life in the service of Christ in the Gospel, Lynda has now gone to her well-earned reward. “Rest eternal grant to Lynda, Lord. May light perpetual shine upon her. May she now rest in peace, and rise one day with Christ in glory. Amen.”
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand