by JENNY MONROE
A LAMBEG clergyman has died suddenly just three days after his wedding.
The funeral of a Lisburn minister took place on Monday in the same church in Co Cavan where he was married less than a week earlier.
The Rev Alan William Matchett, 40, was married to Lisa Middleton last Tuesday. But on Friday he became ill with chest pains and passed away.
Hundreds of people packed the historic Knockbride Church near Bailieborough, Co Cavan, this week to pay their respects to the popular Lambeg man, who was well known in church circles locally where, prior to his ordination, he was a proficient church organist.
Rev Matchett was Rector of Adare Union of Parishes, in Limerick. He had met and fallen in love with Lisa when he was based in Co Cavan as the rector of Bailieborough.
Rev Matchett had returned in 2008 to the Limerick area where he had served a curacy in St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, to be Rector of the Old Abbey Church of St Nicholas in Adare.
Canon Ken McReynolds, the rector of Lambeg Parish, paid tribute to the "very special son of the parish".
We were absolutely devastated by the news and our thoughts and prayers are with his mother Joan who is a much respected member of our church choir and other church groups - as well as Alan's wife, Lisa, and brother Gary," he said.
"Alan's funeral service in Knockbride Church, which was attended by representatives from the Lambeg parish, was a wonderful tribute to a very special 'son of the parish'."
Mr Matchett was predeceased by his father, William.
The Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, Right Rev Trevor Williams also paid tribute to Rev Matchett.
"Alan's calm, friendly manner, and his quick wit endeared him to all. His considerable musical talent, his sensitive leadership of the liturgy, and pastoral concern, enriched his ministry," he said.
A man of great character and humour, Mr Matchett was warmly regarded by all who knew him.