Scores of people gathered to pay tribute to a much loved former Peterborough head teacher at a moving memorial service today (Wednesday).
Thorney Abbey was filled with family, friends, former colleagues and pupils of Philip Williams, who died earlier this month.
Mr Williams was best known for being head teacher at William Law Primary School in Werrington. He was head at the school for 23 years between 1987 and 2010, after ving from Peakirk-cum-Glinton primary school.
Mr Williams died aged 67 on August 17.
The service was held at the Abbey, which had held a special place in the heart of both Mr Williams and his wife, Kathie.
A family spokesman said: “The Abbey held a special part in his life - a focus point for his strong Christian faith that was so important to him; a faith that carried him through the challenges of his last year with such courage and conviction and a formidable support for both him and his family. Philip and Kathie first joined the Abbey congregation when they came to the village nearly 40 years ago.”
Along with teaching, Mr Williams served as a lay Reader at the parish Churches of Thorney and Newborough , taking, assisting in services and preaching up to the week before his death.
Among those to pay tribute to Mr Williams this week was Peterborough City Council leader, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and University and Communications and Glinton councillor John Holdich. Cllr Holdich said: “I first met him when he was head teacher in Glinton. He was a great head teacher for that school - he moved to William Law, and made that into a really good school. A lot of young people have a lot to be thankful for thanks to Philip.”
People have also been adding their tributes and memories of Mr Williams on social media.
Toby Wood said: “Philip Williams was the epitome of a caring professional headteacher who had time for everyone - and a true sense of duty.”
Deborah Lysak wrote: “Sad to hear of Mr Williams death. He was an outstanding head teacher and will not be forgotten.”
While Holly Louise Weaver added: “A wonderful head teacher who will be missed by many. Thank you for making our days at William Law ones to remember ♥ RIP.”
Philip leaves behind his wife Kathie daughters Bethan and Rebecca and grandsons Isaac and Lewis.
A web page to raise funds for Thorney Abbey has been set up in Mr Williams’ Honour.
People can pledge money by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/philipwilliamsmemorial
A facebook tribute page for people to leave messages and memories has also been created. It can be visited at www.facebook.com/Philip-Williams-Memorial-Page-1081168828636507/