Memorial service held for much loved priest who died after fall
A service was held at the weekend in memory of a former senior Anglican priest who died a year ago after he was paralysed from the neck down in a freak accident.
Members of the public gathered at the Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton, where Canon Norman Lynas was the Canon Residentiary.
The Right Reverend Nicholas Dill, the Anglican Bishop of Bermuda, said that the service on Saturday for Canon Lynas was attended by people of all backgrounds.
Bishop Dill said: “The service reflected his affection and the impact that he had.
“He was an amazing pastor and preacher, and would visit his congregation members every week on Tuesdays and Fridays — he was a very erudite communicator.
“The service was well attended and included many moving tributes. He had a tremendous sense of humour and an infectious joyous nature and it came out in the service.”
The Right Reverend Wesley Spiewak, the Catholic Bishop of Hamilton in Bermuda, said at the service: “When I heard about what happened I was praying for his recovery daily.
“Even if he is gone in this dimension I continue to pray for him daily and nightly.
“It is difficult to speak about a friend. This is how I think when I think about Norman — we are not just brothers in faith we are friends and that is something that goes beyond anything.”
The congregation was invited to think about Canon Lynas’s contributions to Bermuda inside and outside the church.
Bishop Dill said: “He was very involved with the Corporation of Hamilton wanting to reclaim the history between the cathedral and the city and was involved with the mayor and councillors on city-related matters.
“He was a chaplain to the Bermuda Police Service, working alongside Pastor Kevin Santucci to provide support to officers on the front line and to talk about the process of ensuring mental and physical health.”
Bishop Dill added: “His great love was rugby — he was a referee for the annual Rugby Classic.
“Alongside that, he was instrumental in Beyond Rugby, a mentoring programme providing support, encouragement and life skills to young Bermudians.”
Canon Lynas’s contribution to the Bermuda Sailors’ Home was also highlighted during the service.
He was chaplain to the home, where he established a chapel, and made a connection with the Mission to Seafarers.
Canon Lynas was also engaged with the Royal Bermuda Regiment.
Bishop Dill added: “He was involved in different churches and faith traditions and was involved in reigniting the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity bringing together different dominations.”
Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, and John Kane, the Irish Honorary Consul in Bermuda, were among others who paid tribute to Canon Lynas.
Canon Lynas suffered serious injuries after he fell down a flight of stairs in July 2020 and was later airlifted to the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts.
He never regained mobility and died on April 2 last year.
Canon Lynas ran a theological training centre called Saint Mellitus as part of his role at the cathedral, which was affiliated with a college in London of the same name.
The Canon, originally from Ireland, was educated at St Andrews University in Scotland and ordained in 1980.
He moved to Bermuda with his family in 2006 and worked on the island for 11 years after several years as a priest in the Church of Ireland.
Canon Lynas was Dean of Ossory at the 13th-century St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny city, County Kilkenny.
He is survived by his wife, Mary-Claire, and sons, Adam and Tristan.