Christopher Stalford: Funeral hears how DUP MLA’s children asked to pray upon hearing of his passing

The funeral of Christopher Stalford on Saturday afternoon heard of the DUP politician’s love for his wife and family.

Trinity, Oliver, Cameron and Abigail, they were the apple of his eye. He just loved being with them,” Rev Marty Gray told the congregation.

“Christopher died very suddenly last Saturday night. He took unwell and despite the best efforts of two teams of paramedics he passed away,” the service heard.

“The next morning, that was a testament of how much of an impact his faith and Laura’s faith had had on their family.

“Because after Laura broke the news to the children, Cameron said: ‘Will we pray now?’. And all four children prayed.”

Mourners were also told of how Mr Stalford and his wife Laura were married by former DUP leader Ian Paisley.

“Reverend Paisley was in a meeting with Tony Blair the day he married them and left early because in his words, he had a special couple to marry.

“Christopher and Laura had known each other since they were young children.

“He was her best friend and she was his and they have been that way ever since.

“When he was 16 years old, he, having tortured Laura for quite a while, Laura eventually agreed to go out with him. Their first date was to a local fish and chip shop where Christopher, in his calamitous way, managed to get red sauce all over Laura.

“But that didn’t put her off.”

The Belfast church heard a vivid picture of the couple’s married life and long walks home because “frugal Christopher” avoided paying for a taxi.

“Christopher loved a bargain. He loved charity shops.”

Mourners from across the political spectrum gathered in Belfast for the funeral service of the late DUP MLA.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, alongside party MPs and MLAs, were among the congregation at Ravenhill Presbyterian Church in south Belfast.

Peter Robinson and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye.)
Peter Robinson and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye.)



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