Mourners at the funeral of murdered Crumlin man Robert Flowerday heard that he was an “incredible man” who stood out as being “passionate about doing good”.
The service of thanksgiving for the 64-year-old retired school teacher took place yesterday in Crumlin Presbyterian Church.
He was found dead at his home in Mill Road, Crumlin on Sunday, January 28.
Andrew Master, lead pastor at Lagan Valley Vineyard Church, told mourners: “The events of the past week have left us shocked and devastated and yet in a very strange way I have been reflecting on how fortunate I am to have known such an incredible man like Robert.
“Robert was quirky, he was different and he was very much his own man. He wasn’t a huge fan of large groups, he much preferred an intimate conversation.
“But perhaps the thing that made Robert so different was his posture towards others.”
He added: “In an age of rampant selfishness and unshackled consumerism Robert stood out.
“In an age of increasing suspicion and fear of people who are not like us Robert stood out. He stood out as one prepared to walk a different road, a road that led him towards others.
“His commitment to love and care for others flowed directly from his commitment and love for Jesus.
“Robert’s faith in Jesus was at the absolute centre of his life, he was both a man of prayer and a man of action.”
Also speaking at the thanksgiving service was Rev Leslie Addis of Crumlin Presbyterian Church who said Mr Flowerday was responsible for him entering the ministry.
He said: “For as long as I have known him, Robert Flowerday has shone like a star in the universe. Back in the day he was affectionately known as The Saint.
“As far as I can remember I first met Robert on the bus to Belfast.
“I was travelling from Crumlin to school at BRA, Robert was a student at Queen’s.
“We tortured him. He was typically, totally unfazed.
“He shared the Gospel with me.
“At some point he invited us to attend a youth club in Glenavy.”
He continued: “My life in Christ, my journey in ministry and the ongoing work of God in my children and so many more began – humanly speaking – at the bus stop at Crumlin Mill, when Robert Flowerday invited myself and Damien Moran to attend a youth club in Glenavy over 45 years ago.”