Family, friends and members of St John the Baptist Church, Spalding, said an emotional and final farewell to the late Rev Peter Garland (62) on Thursday.
The church was packed to capacity for a thanksgiving service in memory of Mr Garland who was vicar of both St John’s and Deeping St Nicholas for 16 years.
Mr Garland, who leaves his wife Frances and three sons, died on May 28, two days after suffering a fall at his home in Spalding.
The service was led by associate minister, Captain Paul Whiteley and Elloe West rural dean Rev Philip Brent, with a sermon from retired Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Herbert. “Peter was a man for whom God’s language was very beautiful, very mysterious, very complex and he recognised, deeply within himself, that the language of God is one which takes a lifetime to learn,” Dr Herbert said.
Meanwhile, South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes also paid to Mr Garland and said: “I got to know Peter well over many years and greatly admired the work he did.
“Our loves overlapped in many ways and touched on things that were important to both of us, across all kinds of work in the local community.
“Peter was a very purposeful, kind and gentle man, he had a great sense of humour and his reputation for both the warmth and diligence with which he did his work was well-deserved.
“I will miss him and I know that, in saying so, I’ll be reflecting the hundreds, if not thousands of lives, with which Peter came into contact.”