Published: Sunday 01 April, 2018

Stephen Hawking Funeral: Thousands Say Goodbye to a Well-Loved Genius

Thousands lined the streets in Cambridge for Stephen Hawking’s funeral. Inside the St Mary the Great Church, around 500 family, friends and colleagues of Stephen Hawking gathered for private funeral ceremony. Only those who knew him personally were invited.

Hawking died on March 14 at the age of 76. Despite having said that he is an atheist, his family chose to give him a traditional Anglican funeral service to give his friends a chance to pay their last respects. 

Present at the service at St. Mary the Great, a short distance from Gonville and Caius College where Hawking worked for more than 50 years, were his wife Jane Hawking, and children Robert, Timothy and Lucy.

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“Our father lived and worked in Cambridge for over 50 years. He was an integral and highly recognizable part of the university and the city,” said Hawking’s children in a statement. “For this reason, we have decided to hold his funeral in the city that he loved so much and which loved him. Our father’s life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious. So, the service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the breadth and diversity of his life.”

Some of the more famous faces who attended included Eddie Redmayne, the British actor who portrayed him in the movie ‘The Theory of Everything’. Redmayne gave an emotional reading of Ecclesiastes 3.1-11 during the funeral. Another member of the cast, Felicity Jones, was also present.

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On June 15, a thanksgiving ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey in London after which Stephen Hawking’s ashes will be interred near other distinguished minds. Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727. Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882.