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The BBC's Emily Buchanan
"Archbishop Desmond Tutu had flown over especially for the service"
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Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey
"He was a very complex man"
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Envoy to former Archbishop Runcie, Terry Waite
"Our working relationship developed into a very firm friendship"
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Saturday, 22 July, 2000, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Lord Runcie laid to rest
Coffin carried out of cathedral
Pallbearers carry Lord Runcie's coffin out of the cathedral
Hundreds of mourners have packed the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans for the funeral of Lord Robert Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Runcie, 78, died last week after a six-year battle with prostate cancer.

After the private service for friends and family, Lord Runcie was buried in the churchyard of the cathedral, where he spent most of the last years of his life.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, opened the service by paying tribute to Lord Runcie.

He was good news and that is spiritual stature

Rt Rev Graham James
"We mourn the loss of a friend, brother Christian, and a great leader in God's church," he said.

The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, praised Lord Runcie's life and the lasting influence he had on Christians the world over.

"He left people feeling better, more in touch with themselves and with God for having met and known him," he said.

Sense of humour

The Rt Rev James spoke of Lord Runcie's endearing qualities - his humility, his irreverent sense of humour and his deep faith.

"He was good news and that is spiritual stature."

He also spoke light-heartedly of the former archbishop, pointing out that people were often surprised to find he was so tall.

"On the way out of Liverpool Cathedral one day a woman greeted him with, 'Well, fancy that. I thought you were a little shrimp of a man'," the Rt Rev James said.

mourners pack the cathedral
Mourners packed the cathedral for the service
He praised Lord Runcie's ability to identify with people.

"To the Jews he became a Jew. With the weak he was weak. He would connect," he said.

"He instinctively put himself at the service of others. That was why he was a good pastor. His was an incarnate religion."

The Rt Rev James said Lord Runcie had carried on helping people right up to his death.

"This was the priest and bishop. He spent himself."

Among the mourners at the funeral were Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, and former Beirut hostage Terry Waite.

Loudspeakers broadcast the service to mourners outside the cathedral.

A memorial service will be held at Westminster Abbey on 8 November.

Robert Runcie
Tributes flooded in for Lord Runcie
Tributes flooded in for Lord Runcie, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980 to 1991, following his death.

He once expressed satisfaction that he had kept the Church united and that it had "rocked the boat a bit" on social issues.

Lord Runcie expressed opinions on the miners' strike - saying the government should stop treating its opponents as "scum" - the handling of the economy, Britain's "lunatic" nuclear arsenal and the Falklands War.

He leaves wife Rosalind and children James and Rebecca.

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Lord Runcie
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12 Jul 00 | UK
The reformist archbishop
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