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Philip Patterson: Devoted teacher who became a respected archdeacon

The death of Archdeacon Philip Patterson

Archdeacon Philip Patterson was rector of Newtownbreda and a well-known Church of Ireland figure. He has died aged 62 after a short illness.

He graduated from university in 1972 with a BSc in Economics, followed by a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education .

He taught mathematics in the Boys' Model School and was Head of Mathematics in Monkstown Community School.

As a layman, he was active in the Church, was Sunday School superintendent and treasurer in Ballyclare parish, a diocesan lay reader and a member of diocesan and General Synod and decided to become a full-time minister.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1981, he was ordained in Shankill Parish Church, Lurgan, and became rector of Carrowdore and Millisle and was then rector of Knockbreda.

He was honorary secretary of the diocesan council for 13 years and also diocesan registrar until appointed Archdeacon of Down. He played an important role in the Church of Ireland at large and was a gifted speaker. He was also a foundation board member of Youth Link Northern Ireland and served on Belfast Education and Library Board.

Archdeacon Patterson had a deep personal interest in mission in Uganda and Rwanda, as well as South America, and particularly in Paraguay.

Bishop Harold Miller said: "I and the whole diocese will miss him more than any words could convey."

Archdeacon Patterson is survived by his wife, Eleanor, and four children.

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