There has been widespread regret following the death at the weekend of Mrs Edyth Lovell, MBE, wife of the late Canon Lovell.
On Saturday Mrs Lovell’s remains were received at Dunnalong Parish Church, Bready at 5pm for a short service, and remained there all night. The service was conducted by Rev Mark Lennox, assisted by Mrs Kaye Nesbitt, Diocesan Reader based in the Parishes of Leckpatrick and Dunnalong, and Rev Canon Johnny Mayes, Chaplain to retired Clergy and Spouses and former Rector of All Saint’s, Clooney.
On Sunday a private funeral cortege left Dunnalong Parish Church and made its way to Christ Church, Strabane for 2pm, where another short service was conducted by Rev Lennox, assisted by Mrs Nesbitt. Mrs Lovell’s remains rested in the Church overnight until the Service of Thanksgiving on Monday at 2pm.
The Service of Thanksgiving, at Christ Church, Strabane, attracted a large, inter-denominational congregation also reflecting her charity work and community work, and was conducted by the Rector of the Parish, Rev Lennox, the preacher was Rev Marie Walshe, a child of Strabane Parish and a close friend of Mrs Lovell and the Rector of Leckpatrick and Dunnalong lead the intercessions, while the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good, attended and took part in the service.
The hymns, which were chosen by Mrs Lovell, were ‘Psalm 121’ the Church of Ireland Chant and pointed version, ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind’, ‘Thine be the Glory’ and ‘O the Love of my Lord is the essence’.
Readings were performed by Mrs Lovell’s niece, Shirley and family friend Canon Alan Tilson (retired), and in a poignant moment during the service, Mrs Lovell’s grandson, Jack, read a poem he wrote himself about his grandmother, while her daughter, Hilary spoke lovingly about her mother and Late father.
The Absolution and Blessing were performed by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good.
In a tribute to her and her many achievements for and on behalf of others, Mrs Lovell’s MBE was placed on top of her coffin as a mark of respect and recognition for her work.
Burial followed at Strabane Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest beside her husband Rev Canon Ernest Lovell and her son Alleyn, who pre-deceased.
The choirs of Christ Church in Strabane and from Dunnalong led the praise.
Speaking as Rector of the Parish, Rev Lennox said Mrs Lovell was loved by all in the Parish of Strabane and would be sorely missed by all who knew her.
“She was a lady of tremendous faith and an inspiration to us all, leaving us an example of how to live lives to the Glory of God. It is a privilege that she wanted to spend the night before her funeral and have her funeral service in Christ Church, Strabane. This afternoon we welcome her ‘home’ to the church where she and her husband had a wonderful ministry together and had an impact on so many lives. We remember her daughter Hilary, son in law Stephen and Grandchildren Billy, Charlotte and Jack in our prayers.
Meanwhile, Kay Clarke, President of the Derry and Raphoe Mothers’ Union said: “The death this week of Mrs Edyth Lovell MBE has greatly saddened the members of Mothers’ Union in Derry and Raphoe. Edyth competently held posts in Mothers’ Union at both Diocesan and All Ireland levels.
“She was one of life’s inspirational Christian ladies who loved and eagerly served the Lord with a sincere faith and constant devotion. She continually touched our lives in so many different ways and her legacy and witness will live on in our hearts for evermore. She was a great example to us all and served Christ through every word and action. We were all so pleased when Edyth received the MBE for her services to charity, from Her Majesty the Queen in the June 2010 Birthday Honours List,” she said.
Donations in lieu of flowers were taken up in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Northern Ireland. Donations can also be given to Mr Jim Roulston at 15b Lowertown Road, Ballymagorry.