Retired Clergy RIP Notices

RIP Canon Laurie Blanchard

We are saddened to report the death on 26th March 2022 of Canon Laurie Blanchard. The Ely Standard published a tribute to Canon Laurie Blanchard which can be read here

A funeral service for Canon Blanchard took place at the Church of St Peter, Ely on April 19.

May Laurie rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - FR. David Fysh

We are saddened to report the death of Fr David Fysh who died on 19th October 2021. Following his ordination in 1991 Fr David served as a non-stipendiary minister at St Mary’s, West Walton and was a Priest Vicar at Ely Cathedral from 2003-2006.  From 2014 he was sub-warden of the College of St Barnabas, Lingfield before returning to the diocese in 2016.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11.30 am on Friday 5th November in St Peter & St Paul, Wisbech.

May Fr David rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Canon Dr Michael Wadsworth

We are saddened to report the death of Canon Dr Michael Wadsworth who died on Good Friday.  We thank God for Michael’s service to the diocese in the parishes of Wilburton, Haddenham and Great Shelford and his links with the university as Chaplain and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

May Michael rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Revd Canon Dr John Polkinghorne

We are saddened to report the death of Revd Canon Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS.

John Polkinghorne was a distinguished President of Queens' from 1989-1996 and, thereafter, an Honorary Fellow of the College.  He was knighted in 1997.

Prior to this, he was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968, resigning his chair in 1979 to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest in 1982.

The current President, Dr Mohamed El-Erian, said: “To say John had an exceptional life would be an understatement. Born in 1930, he touched many lives as a highly respected physicist, theologian, and priest. The author of a number of influential books, he was admired for his important research and insights on religion and science.

Building on his important academic accomplishments, he was ordained in 1982 and elected as our President a few years later. He served Queens’ in this capacity in an admirable and impactful manner for eight years. Knighted in 1997, he went on to win the prestigious Templeton Prize, donating the proceeds to endow College positions. Until recently, he periodically attended College meals and remained in contact with several of our colleagues, including other Life and Honorary Fellows”.

John’s funeral will be a private family-only service due to Covid restrictions.

A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will take place once restrictions are lifted.

My John rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - The Ven Jeffrey (Jeff) John Seagrief Watson

We are very sorry to learn of the death of the Ven Jeff Watson, who retired as Archdeacon of Ely in 2004. Jeff was ordained in 1965 and served in the Dioceses of Rochester, Portsmouth, and Winchester, before his appointment in Ely in 1993. For the last year, he had been in a care home in Southampton, suffering from dementia, and he died following an infection on Thursday 28 January. His funeral will be later this month, likely in Hythe, but limited owing to current Covid-19 restrictions.

The Archdeacon of Huntingdon and Wisbech remembers him as follows: “When Jeff became Archdeacon of Ely (now the Archdeaconry of Cambridge) he brought with him a love of parish ministry and this influenced everything he did as archdeacon. Jeff was compassionate, understanding and a pastor to many. His preaching was of a high standard and widely accessible. He had a great love of music, especially Barber Shop music, and an exotic line of waistcoats. He is remembered with great affection by those who worked with him.”

We give thanks for his life, ministry, and especially his service in this Diocese. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rosemary and his family.

RIP - Rev Simon Godfrey

We are saddened to report the death of Rev Simon Godfrey, who died on 10th December 2020.

May Simon rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - The Very Rev’d James Atwell

We are deeply saddened to report the death of The Very Rev’d James Atwell who died on 12th December 2020.

May James rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Rev Anthony Wibberley

We are saddened to report the death of Rev Anthony Wibberley who died on Saturday 15th August 2020. 

May Anthony rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP – Rev Michael Langford

We are saddened to report the death of Rev Michael Langford who died on 18th July 2020. A longstanding member of the Lordsbridge Team Michael was preaching and presiding at services as recently as February.  He also continued his academic work in ethics and theology, speaking and writing until relatively recently. 

May Michael rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Rev Richard Bunyan

We are saddened to report the death of Rev Richard Bunyan of 28th April 2020. 

He was, until retirement, the Chaplain at Littlehey Prison. 

May Richard rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward

We are saddened to report the death of Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward on Easter Eve [2020] at the age of 89. 

The current Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Christopher Cocksworth said:

"Today, Holy Saturday, Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward died. Simon was Bishop of Coventry from 1985 to 1997, and was dearly loved. Indeed, he remains in people’s hearts across the Diocese. Many people across the Diocese of Coventry were ordained or first licensed or confirmed by him. Bishop John worked closely with Simon during his curacy and, like many of us, has many stories to tell of Bishop Simon’s faithful and loving ministry. 

Before coming to Coventry, Bishop Simon was my Spiritual Director and, throughout my time as one of his successors, Simon’s example has been an inspiration. I learnt so much from him and I join with the Diocese of Coventry as a whole in being indebted to this kind and holy Father-in-God. 

Bishop Simon taught me to pray a very simple prayer, called "The Jesus Prayer". He told me that, like him, I would need to use it during the day as bishop "to come up for air". We give thanks for this person of prayer who knew how to dwell in the presence of God, and who will now breathe the sweet and pure air of the new creation. And we pray for his dear wife Jean, for their daughters, Helen and Mary and for the whole family."

Simon Barrington-Ward studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Westcott House, before being ordained in 1956.

He served as chaplain at Magdalene College; then spent three years lecturing at Ibadan University (Nigeria), before returning to Magdalene in 1963, this time as a Fellow and Dean.

He was the General Secretary of Church Missionary Society (CMS) from 1975 to 1985, and was also Chaplain to the Queen from 1984 to 1985.

From 1985 to 1997, he served as the seventh Bishop of Coventry. He was consecrated a bishop by Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, on All Saints' Day 1985 (1 November) at Westminster Abbey.

After his retirement from Coventry, he continued as a bishop with pastoral care of the University of Cambridge, and an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Ely.

Bishop Simon returned as an honorary assistant chaplain of Magdalene College, where he was an honorary fellow since 1987, and a chaplain to the staff of Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

He was knighted as a Knight Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 2001.

RIP - Rev Tim Fyffe

We are saddened to report the death of Rev Tim Fyffe who died in Addenbrooke's on 12th January. Tim's funeral will take place on Monday 17th February, with a Requiem Eucharist at St. Mary's, Great Shelford at 12:00.

Tim was born in 1925 and ordained priest in 1957 after training for the ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge. He had a varied ministry, serving a curacy in Lewisham then spending eight years in mission ministry in Nigeria. He returned to the UK in 1969 and served as a Team Vicar in Lowestoft until 1980; during this time he was also a part time prison chaplain at Blundeston near Lowestoft. In 1985 he moved to Wolverhampton to become a Hospice Chaplain for two years, then was a Self-supporting Minister in the city until he retired in 1990. He continued to live in Wolverhampton in retirement, until he moved to Gt Shelford in 2015 to live nearer to his daughter Margaret and her family in Cambridge.

Tim had a passion for ministry to those in need and a real commitment to inter-faith working. He read widely and had an active mind until the end. In his nearly 30 years of retirement ministry, he continued to preside and preach regularly until physical infirmity prevented this just a few months ago. In his five years in Gt Shelford he relished being involved in the life of the parish and the wider community, often seen around the village on his mobility scooter. He touched the lives of many by his openness and generosity.

May Tim rest in peace and rise in glory.

Please remember Tim's daughter, Margaret, and the extended family in your prayers.

RIP - Rev Lawrence Allan Marsh

We are sad to report that Rev Lawrence Allan Marsh has died.

His Funeral will take place in Holy Trinity Church, Bottisham on 21st November at 2pm, followed by a private cremation.

Ordained in 1967 Laurie served as a priest in the Ely Diocese from 1976: Rector, FEN DITTON (St Mary the Virgin), Ely, 1976-2001, Priest in charge, HORNINGSEA (St Peter), Ely, 1983-2001, Permission to Officiate, Ely, from 2001, Retired from 2001.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Canon Hugh Searle

We have just heard the sad news that Canon Hugh Searle has died. His funeral service will be held at St Peter’s, Barton, Cambridge on Friday 15th November 2019. Burial at 12.45pm. Service at 1.30pm. Flowers welcome.

Canon Searle served as a priest in the Diocese of Ely for nearly forty years as follows: Priest in charge, BARTON (St Peter) Ely 1978-1984, Priest in charge, COTON (St Peter) Ely 1978-1984, Rural Dean, BOURN Ely 1981-1992, Vicar, BARTON (St Peter) Ely 1984-2000, Rector, COTON (St Peter) Ely 1984-2000, Hon Can Ely Cathedral 1997-2000, Retired 2000, Permission to Officiate Ely 2000-2017.

RIP - Reverend William George Thomas

We are saddened to report the death of the Reverend William George Thomas.

His funeral service has been arranged for Thursday 2 May at 2pm at Holywell-cum-Needingworth church. There will be a cremation afterwards.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Revd Roy Knifton

We are saddened to report the death of the Reverend Roy Knifton.

His funeral service was held at All Saints, Bottisham on 28th March 2019.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Revd John H L Cross

The Reverend John H L Cross died peacefully at home on 31st October 2018.

His funeral service will be at All Saints, Little Shelford on Thursday 15th November at 2pm. Enquiries may be made to H J Paintin Ltd, tel: 01223 891226.

We hold John's wife Mary and their family in our prayers. May John rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Rev John Alford

We are saddened to report the death of Rev John Alford. His funeral will be held on Wednesday 1st August at 2.00p.m. St Andrew's Church, Gt Staughton.

From 1995-200 John served in this diocese as Priest in charge, SPALDWICK (St James) w Barham and Woolley; ELLINGTON (All Saints); EASTON (St Peter); GRAFHAM (All Saints) and was Vicar of SPALDWICK (St James) w Barham and Woolley from 2000-2001.

We give thanks to God for John's ministry among us and hold his family in our prayers.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Canon Michael Farrer

We are saddened to report the death of Canon Michael Farrer.

His funeral will be held on Tuesday 29th May 2018 at 2.30pm in Ely Cathedral followed by refreshments in the Almonry - all are welcome. The family request no flowers - donations in memory of Michael will be given to the Kate Farrer Foundation - see www.katefarrer.org.

Michael served this Diocese as Vicar of St Paul's Cambridge (1978-1992), as Rural Dean of Cambridge (1984-89) and as an Hon Canon of Ely Cathedral (1988-1992). Michael retired in 1992 at the age of 70 and was appointed Senior Chaplain to Bishop Stephen Sykes - a post he held for three years.

We give thanks to God for Michael's ministry in this diocese and hold his family in our prayers.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Rev Bill Girard

Rev Bill Girard died recently. Following a Requiem Mass for close family and friends a Memorial Service will be held in All Saints, Hamerton at 2.30 pm on Wednesday March 7th which everyone is welcome to attend. May Bill rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Rev Ron Frost

Rev Ron Frost, former Vicar of the Kym Valley Group died on 7th January 2018 at a hospice in Kent. Ron's funeral will take place at St Peter-in-Thanet at 1pm on Monday 21st January We give thanks to God for Ron's ministry in this diocese from 1987-2010. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - The Rev Dr Lionel Wickham

Rev Dr Lionel Wickham died in the week before Christmas. His funeral was held at St Andrew's, Girton on 9th January 2018. We thank God for Lionel's ministry in this diocese and in the University of Cambridge. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - The Rev Gillian Mann

Rev Gillian Mann died on Wednesday 3rd January 2018. Gillian's funeral will take place on Wednesday 24th January at 11am in Outwell church. We give thanks to God for Gillian's ministry in this diocese in retirement and hold her family in our hearts and prayers. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - The Rev John Kenneth Isaacs

John died peacefully with faith unwavering on Monday 11th September 2017, aged 81 years. A Thanksgiving Service will be held at Ely Cathedral on Monday 2nd October 2017 at 2pm.

RIP - Canon Paul Duffett

Canon Paul Duffett of Barton died on 18th September 2017. A Service of Thanksgiving for Paul's life and ministry will be held on Tuesday 3rd October at 2pm in St Peter's Church, Barton.Please hold Anita, Chris and Hanna and their families in your prayers. May Paul rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP - Rev David Bush

Rev David Bush of Burwell died peacefully on Friday 13th January 2017 aged 91 years. A beloved husband to the late Anita. Much loved father of Rosalynde, Alick, Andy, Betsy, Catherine and Pete and dear grandfather and great grandfather. Cremation on Tuesday 24th January 9am at Bury St Edmunds with a Service of Celebration later in the day in St Mary's Church Burwell at 2.30pm. Family flowers only please but if desired Donations may be made payable to Queens Court MHA Bottisham and sent c/o Southgate of Newmarket Funeral Directors, 25 Duchess Drive, Newmarket, CB8 8AG. Tel: 01638 662480.

Page last updated: Thursday 21st April 2022 11:29 AM
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