A service of thanksgiving is to be held for the life of a church minister who died last week.

The Rev Paul Breeze (pictured), minister at Trinity Church in Rawdon, who was in his 60s, failed to recover from a serious heart operation.

The service of thanksgiving will take place at Trinity Church, New Road Side, Rawdon, at 1.30pm on Monday.

A private service of committal will be held at Nab Wood Crematorium for family and close friends only.

Speaking for Trinity Church, Pete Lambert paid tribute to Mr Breeze.

He said: “How do you sum up a life in a few words? Even looking back over the three years or so that we have been associated with Paul, firstly through his interim appointment to and then full-time ministry at Trinity Church, it is difficult, if not impossible, to do justice to the way in which he has touched so many lives in such a profound way.

“How many times more must this have been repeated throughout his life and his ministry before he came to us?

“Paul, you see, had an extraordinary ability to get alongside people. Many will testify to this, as he shared fully with them in times of great joy, trial and sadness. Here was a man of huge faith and confidence, who loved and cherished his ministry and especially that part of his role as Pastor which brought him into the most intimate relationship with his flock.

“He was truly a diplomat and a peacemaker: he listened intently to the myriad of opinions represented in a church like ours, which as a Local Ecumenical Partnership encompasses three denominational traditions and all the colours of the spectrum, yet was able to steer the ship steadily through rough seas on at times an uncertain course. Paul often took a long time over expressing himself, but that was because he thought deeply before he said or did anything.

“Not that Paul was perfect. Of course he was not, but he accepted criticism with grace and dignity. He had always said he could not do everything and that there were things he was not good at, while others were, so he was happy to allow them to get on with it. Nor could he have achieved any of the things he did without the support of his loving wife and sons.

“We will each have our own way of remembering and honouring Paul, but few of us will be able to forget his raucous laughter. So let us rejoice in the fact that we have known and loved Paul and allow his memory to bring a smile to our faces. Our loss is Heaven’s gain.”