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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Church leaders gather at Runcie's funeral
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 The funeral of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Runcie of Cuddesdon, took place on Saturday. More than 2,000 attended the service at St Alban's Cathedral. A further 500 listened to the services broadcast on loudspeakers in the abbey orchard outside. The service was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey. Mourners included Lord Runcie's wife Rosalind and close family, who were joined by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, and former Beirut hostage Terry Waite. The Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, who was once chaplain to the Archbishop, preached the sermon, praising his gift of being able to relate to people from all walks of life. Later Archbishop Tutu said Runcie has given him strong support during the struggle against apartheid. Terry Waite said Archbishop Runcie has been a fine friend and companion who had prayed for him daily during his captivity. Lord Runcie led the Church of England through a period of great change. During his office the ordination of women, remarriage of divorcees and introduction of modern liturgies aroused controversy. He clashed with the government on a number of occasions - particularly over issues of poverty and social justice. During the memorial service after the Falklands War he called for prayers for the Argentinians who had died in the conflict. In 1982, he welcomed Pope John Paul II to Britain in a historical meeting and prayed with him at Canterbury Cathedral. A Scottish piper played a lament as the coffin was laid to rest just before noon. A memorial service will be held at Westminster Abbey later this year.
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