Gareth Smyth

19th October 1958 - 15th January 2023

On Thursday 14th March, 2024 at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving for the life of Gareth Smyth was held at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.
Download Order of Service (pdf)


The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce delivered the opening:

A very warm welcome to St Bride’s, as we come together to honour the memory and to celebrate the life of a man who was not only outstanding in his field – Gareth was a consummate journalist, dedicated, courageous, and respected by all – but who was also an outstanding human being: a man of integrity, compassion, and wonderful good humour.

When Gareth’s life was cut short so suddenly and tragically last January, the shock was devastating, and the sense of loss shared by those who knew him and loved him remains acute.

And yet, we also have so much for which we can be thankful – because the world was so much the richer for Gareth’s presence within it – and all whose lives he touched were the richer for having known him.

We shall have as few announcements as possible during this service, so if you would please stand for the hymns and sit for just about everything else, you will not go far wrong.

We begin with an opening prayer. Let us pray:

Spirit of God, source of all love, within us and between us;
As we come together to give thanks for Gareth’s life,
Comfort with your gentleness all who are gathered here today.
Thank you for the gift of love, from which we can never be separated;
For although gone from our sight,
Gareth will never leave our hearts.
And when the dark shadows fall, may we have the courage
and the faithfulness, to know that he is safe in your care;
may the gift of your peace rest upon us,
and the strength of your embrace support us,
until we are reunited with him once more
in your heavenly presence.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Michael Karam

Zeinab Charafeddine

John Jackson, David Donaldson & Janet Pope


Timothy O’Malley read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

What gain has the worker from his toil?

10 I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 also that it is God’s gift to man that every one should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil.

Janet Pope read Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney

We are prepared: we build our houses squat,
Sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate.
This wizened earth has never troubled us
With hay, so, as you see, there are no stacks
Or stooks that can be lost. Nor are there trees
Which might prove company when it blows full
Blast: you know what i mean — leaves and branches
Can raise a tragic chorus in a gale
So that you listen to the thing you fear
Forgetting that it pummels your house too.
But there are no trees, no natural shelter.
You might think that the sea is company,
Exploding comfortably down on the cliffs,
But no: when it begins, the flung spray hits
The very windows, spits like a tame cat
Turned savage. We just sit tight while wind dives
And strafes invisibly. Space is a salvo,
We are bombarded by the empty air.
Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear.


The choir & organist of St Bride’s performed the following anthems and songs:

Prelude No 1 in C major BWV 846 – Johann Sebastian Bach
Ave verum corpus – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Carrickfergus – Traditional Irish
Warm love – Van Morrison arr. Robert Jones
Ag Críost an Síol – Seán Ó Riada, sung by Maria Hoban
Flow, my tears – John Dowland; Words: Peter Oswald
Only love can break your heart – Neil Young arr. Matthew Morley
Always look on the bright side of life – Eric Idle


Make me a channel of your peace
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer


congregation sitting for service


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