Tim Garden’s Service of Thanksgiving
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 21st August, 2007
Nearly 500 people turned up for the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Tim Garden (Air Marshal Professor The Lord Garden, KCB, MA, MPhil, FRAeS, FRUSI, FCGI) at Hampstead Parish Church this afternoon. Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Menzies Campbell and Tom McNally, Leader of the LibDems in the House of Lords, led a phalanx of MPs and peers and there were representatives of the various different compartments of Tim’s diverse but well-integrated life: military, academic, political and media punditry. Unlike his widow Sue, Tim was not a churchgoer, and his cremation had been held privately earlier in the day. Thus the service was not a funeral but an act of fond remembrance for a man of extraordinary dignity and integrity, who was also great fun.
Sue and the Gardens’ two daughters, Antonia and Alex, gave loving and sometimes amusing tributes, while the Rt Rev Lord Harries of Pentregarth — familiar to listeners to ‘Thought for the Day’ as Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford — gave more spiritual reflections on mortality, supplemented by the local vicar, Stephen Tucker. At Sue’s request, Camden LibDems present wore pale yellow roses, and despite the grey skies, the white wine served in the churchyard afterwards would certainly have met with Tim’s approval. A more formal Memorial Service will be held at St. Clement Danes — the Central Church of the Royal Air Force — at a later date.