Celebrating the Life of Baby Indi Gregory
A collection of the texts, tributes, photos and messages from Baby Indi's funeral at Nottingham Cathedral today.
A message from the Holy Father, Pope Francis
To: The Right Reverend Patrick McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham
His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of little Indi Gregory, and he sends condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to her parents, Dean and Claire, and to all who mourn the loss of this precious child of God. Entrusting Indi into the tender and loving hands of our Heavenly Father, His Holiness joins those gathered for her funeral in thanking Almighty God for the gift of her all-too-short life. He likewise prays that the Lord Jesus, who said to his disciples, "let the little children come to me... for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs" (Matthew 19:14), will grant abiding comfort, strength and peace to you all.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State
Courtesy of the Diocese of Nottingham's Communications Office, images from Indi's funeral can be accessed here.
The Order of Service
This can be read here.
Sermon of Bishop Patrick McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham, for the Funeral of Baby Indi Gregory.
The gospel reading chosen by Dean and Claire, which we have just listened to, shows us that Jesus had a very special place in his heart for children. As Jesus was travelling around with his disciples, teaching people about the love God has for each person, parents naturally wanted to bring their children to Jesus so that he would bless them. When Jesus became aware that his disciples, his closest followers and friends, were preventing this, he was angry with them: ‘Let the children come to me, do not stop them; for it is to such as these little children that the Kingdom of God belongs.’ This is a strong and powerful message from Jesus. He’s saying that we can all learn so much from children. How? Because children are naturally joyful, open and trusting, they have not yet become closed in and weighed down by the worries of the world. But Jesus is also saying that these are precisely the necessary qualities needed so as to share in his Kingdom of Heaven: openness to God in our lives, trust in his love for each of us, and joy and hope in the way we live our lives and care for others. So, as adults, we have much to learn from children. Therefore we believe that Jesus has a very special place prepared in heaven for all children, and especially for those who, like baby Indi, die so young. That’s why Dean and Claire arranged for baby Indi to be baptised. They wanted her to know God’s love and to be able to be close to Jesus forever, and I know this truth gives them great comfort. So they in turn were able to comfort their second youngest child, Vienna, who is only 6, by explaining to her that baby Indi was now in a very special place called Heaven where she continues to be loved and cared for by Jesus and all his angels and saints.
Dean and Claire described baby Indi to me as a real fighter, as someone who really wanted to live and who, in her short eight months of life, battled through some challenging health issues. Dean will describe something more of her life and struggles in his tribute to Indi later on in this Service. Claire and Dean chose the scripture reading from St Paul speaking to the very early Christian community in Rome, for two reasons. First of all because it is a beautiful expression of their growing faith in God and of their decision to have baby Indi baptised. St Paul is encouraging the Christians in Rome by reminding them that Christ Jesus has overcome death, he is now Risen from the dead, and he has a deep love and care both for the living and the dead. He reminds them of this beautiful truth: ‘if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord’. Dean and Claire are greatly comforted by this truth that Christ Jesus continues to look after Indi in heaven. Secondly they chose this reading because the opening words really spoke to them: ‘The life and death of each of us has its influence on others’. Why? Because, although only 8 months old, Indi’s struggle for life from her hospital crib here in Nottingham touched the hearts of so many people here in the UK and in other parts of the world, especially in Italy, as did the example of her mum and dad in doing all they could to try and give her every chance to live. Indi’s short life serves to remind us of how precious life is, how precious every person is; she reminds us of how precious is the dignity of every human being; that whether a baby in the womb, someone very young like Indi, or elderly, healthy or sick, big or small, each person is of infinite value and is to be respected as such. That’s a wonderful legacy of Indi’s short life on earth.
These last eight months have been, for Dean, Claire and the family, both a blessed time in the great joy and love that baby Indi gave them, and also, as you are all aware, a very difficult and stressful time. But from meeting with them I know that they are very appreciative, while baby Indi was alive, of the support and practical help that they received from their families, friends, and others. Dean will also speak of this in his tribute. They are grateful also, since Indi’s death, for the expressions of kindness, great sympathy and prayerful support they have received. They greatly appreciate all of this because it has both comforted and given them strength to keep going through those difficult times. Your presence here this morning means so much to them. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts, and especially your prayers. To know that people are praying for them will be a great solace to Dean, Claire and family in the weeks and months ahead.
A tribute from Indi's Father: 'My Beautiful Warrior, Indi Gregory'
I was honestly and truly feel, deep in my heart, that Indi was not only beautiful, but strong and unique. I just knew, from the start, she was very special. Nonetheless, I could never have imagined the sort of journey we and lndi would have had to go through to fight for her life. She didn't only have to battle against her health problems, she had to battle against a system that makes it almost impossible to win. Yet, it was her weakest point, her health problems, that distinguished lndi as a true warrior.
lndi overcame so much: she had seizures, two operations, sepsis, e-coli, including other infections, that even a healthy child would struggle to beat. But, lndi's determination to fight for a chance at life, really inspired me. The strength she had for an eight-month-old child was truly incredible. And this is one of the reasons I would have done anything for lndi to have had that chance to live which was denied her. She had to fight to live from day one of her life. I was even willing to go down into the pits of hell to fight and to protect lndi. In a way I did, because the court system itself felt like being in hell to me.
Yet, lndi was an eight-month-old baby that had the power to touch millions of peoples' hearts around the world! She inspired love. And, nowhere more than Italy. In fact, I'm sure lndi is as proud as I am for the amazing support and love shown by the Italian Government, the Italian Prime Minister and the Italian people. I strongly believe they were lndi's guardian angels during the legal battle to save her. I would also like to thank all the many people involved in lndi's battle including my lawyers and Christian Concern. You have all been a true inspiration and I truly believe it has been a battle of good versus evil.
I have now reached the conclusion that this was indeed lndi's destiny. God put lndi on this earth with the mission to expose the evil in the world. He chose her because she was strong, beautiful and special. But now, this chapter of lndi's destiny is over. Her legacy, however, has only just begun. I wanted to make sure lndi would be remembered for ever and she will live on in our hearts and through our voices.
But, my greatest comfort, at this difficult time, is knowing where lndi is and with whom she is now. I had lndi baptised to protect her and so she would go to Heaven. It gives me peace to know she is in Heaven and God is taking care of her. I thank the Catholic Church of Nottingham and Bishop McKinney for celebrating lndi's funeral and all those who helped me prepare this beautiful farewell.
I will love you always lndi.
from dad x
Our statement on the funeral of Indi Gregory can be read here. No further statements from the Diocese of Nottingham or Nottingham Cathedral will be given at this time. A recording of the funeral service will be made available on the Cathedral's Livestream channel, shortly after the service. You will find it here.
Please direct any additional queries to the Diocesan Communications Office: [email protected]