More than 1,000 people, including many celebrities from showbusiness, sports and politics, attended a memorial Mass for Sir Paul Getty at Westminster Cathedral yesterday. The oil billionaire, who died in April at the age of 70, was Britain's biggest philanthropist. Throughout his life he gave away millions to good causes. During his homily, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said that Sir Paul was "extraordinarily generous" and "humble enough to know that his own great fortune had to be shared". Cardinal Cormac recalled how Sir Paul paid for a new church for a parish priest who visited him when he was sick in hospital. One of his oldest friends, Christopher Gibbs, told the congregation that Sir Paul had suffered many sad events in his life. His second wife died of an overdose, and his son, John Paul III, who was present at the service, had experienced a terrible ordeal at the hands of kidnappers, who cut off his ear. He later suffered a stroke brought on by drugs. Mr Gibbs said Sir Paul was a humble and modest man who suffered from depression and anxiety and would have been astonished by the service. He added that it was the love of Sir Paul's last wife Victoria, his many friendships and his Catholic faith that enabled him to overcome his problems. Among those attending the service was Baroness Thatcher, Lord Attenborough, former cricketers Fred Trueman, Mike Gatting, Chris Cowdrey, Phil Edmonds, John Emburey, Tom Graveney, David Graveney, Micky Stewart, John Lever, Bob Taylor and Clive Lloyd; Tory politicians including party leader Iain Duncan Smith and his wife, Betsy, Lord Heseltine, Michael Howard and John Profumo. Prince Charles was represented by his former private secretary Sir John Riddell. Other guests included actors Jeremy Irons and Sir Edward Fox, broadcasters Jeremy Paxman and Michael Parkinson, architect Lord Foster and representatives from scores of Sir Paul's beneficiaries including the National Gallery and the British Film Institute.
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