ST MARY’S Church Painswick was strictly standing room only today for the funeral service of much- loved Stroud businessman Peter Bateman.

Prior to the service the funeral cortege passed through the centre of Stroud, pausing outside Bateman’s Sports so that members of the community could pay their last respects.

Peter who passed away at the age of 79 on November 7, was movingly remembered with personal tributes from family, friends and colleagues, to a congregation of several hundred mourners - a testament to his popularity.

The service was sympathetically led by the Reverend Mark Holloway, with readings from Peter’s six grandchildren, Nick Slader, Adrian Pointer and Russ Hillier.

Those gathered were invited to celebrate Peter’s life with rousing hymns and simple stories told with humour and light-heartedness.

Many times during the ceremony the church was filled with spontaneous laughter, and at one point even applause.