Uplyme says farewell to much-loved Philippa

River Cottage chef brought “kindness, joy, laughter, gentleness and grace”.

TRIBUTES to a “beautiful” and “remarkable” young woman were paid at the funeral service of Philippa Corbin.

Mourners, still shocked by the tragic loss of the young River Cottage chef, packed Uplyme church and two overspill marquees on Thursday.

Philippa’s parents, Pam and Hugh, led the tributes to their “gentle” daughter who was found hanged in an outbuilding at their village home.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtsall was amongst the mourners and River Cottage staff closed the Axminster canteen as a mark of respect to their 27-year-old former colleague.

Mrs Corbin told the congregation that it was important to celebrate “Philly’s” life – and there should be no blame or reproach.

In her address she said: “Remarkable in her life and remarkable in her death. In her life, dear Philly brought kindness, joy, laughter gentleness and grace with her beautiful smile.

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“In her death she has given us untold love and compassion to open our hearts and love one another. She was beauty, pure beauty only lent to us so we can see what pure beauty is.

“Sadness, yes, there will be deep sadness and hurting in her death but I ask you to keep in mind she had loved her life. “Let there be no blame, no reproach nor never ending questions. If you do, then neither Philippa, nor you, nor I will find peace.

“Instead, let her death enrich your life, for she, in her inimitable style, has given us a gift. The gift to stop, and with our hearts, check our own lives and value those whose lives we share. This is what Philly did everyday.”

Uplyme Vicar Gavin Tyte, who led the service, described Philippa’s death “as a tragedy wrong in every respect”.

Writing on his website before the service he said: “What can I say to a community reeling from the tragic loss of someone so beautiful and young?

“There is no escaping the fact that this tragedy is wrong in every respect. Life matters. Life is important. Love is important. Our relationships are important. The here and now matters. This is why it hurts so much when we lose someone – especially someone with so much life.”