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Cambridge vicar showed no signs of significant mental ill health before death, inquest finds

by Sophie Drew
Canon Anna Matthews three.jpg - Banner image
St Bene’t’s

An inquest into the death of Canon Anna Matthews has found she showed no signs of significant mental health difficulties prior to her death.

The Cambridge vicar was the leader of St Bene't's Church before taking her own life, as confirmed by her husband following her death in March.

Canon Anna had been seeking support for “emotional problems” by seeing a psychologist for five months.

However, the practitioner said the vicar had shown "no indication of any suicidal or self-harm thoughts,” even in the weeks leading up to her death.

Canon Matthews’ husband, Stephen, confirmed that he had never had any reason to fear that Anna would take her own life, nor did Coroner Elizabeth Grey find any evidence to suggest poor mental health at any point during the inquest.

However, a police report shared during the inquest said Canon Matthews’ had “clearly made preparations” before her death.

The inquest confirmed there was no third-party involvement.

In a statement shared with the St Bene't's congregation in the days following her death, Canon Matthews’ husband Stephen said: "Having received communion at the 12:30 service on Thursday, as I prayed for Anna, I was given an image that has been of great comfort to me: Even as she fell, God lifted Anna up.

"She was shining in the light of the resurrection as the hurt that overcame her fell away, along with her body.

“So, I pray to merciful God with hope that she was spared the final anguish, and in death she was cleansed and resurrected with Christ, rising in his glory."

If you've been affected by the content of this story, do contact Premier Lifeline, the national Christian helpline on 0300 111 0101.

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