THE RT REVD ANDREW RADFORD
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
THE Rt Revd Andy Radford, Suffragan Bishop of Taunton in Bath & Welldiocese since 1998, was a born communicator.
Like many clergy before him, he saw broadcasting as an opportunity fosharing his faith with a large audience, many of whom would not set foot ichurch. Whereas most of these clergy broadcasters had tended to work solely fothe BBC, he, after a two-year spell with the BBC in Bristol, spent most of hitime in the growing commercial network, where he won a number of prizes for hiradio work, including the Sony Local Radio Personality of the Year award.
Andrew John Radford was born in 1944, in Kingstanding in Bristol, where hifather was the Vicar of Holy Trinity. After leaving Kingswood Grammar SchoolAndy trained as an architect and surveyor, founding a building firm, and lateusing his experience to design "the ideal vicarage" with surgery attached.
Like many born into a clergy household, he was determined not to bordained. After a conversion experience at 25, however, he had an overwhelmindesire to communicate the gospel to his own generation, which led to hiwriting songs and forming a 40-strong gospel pop group - "New Life".
In 1974, after training at Trinity College, Bristol, he was ordained deacoto serve in the parish of St Mary, Shirehampton; at the same time, he held thpost of religious-programmes producer at BBC Radio Bristol. Four years laterhis enthusiasm for communicating his Evangelical faith through broadcasting leto his becoming a full-time producer.
In 1980, Andrew became parish priest at St Andrew's, Bath, linked with thrural parish of Englishcombe. St Andrew's was a large urban parish, where hled a lively and successful ministry. At the same time, he moved from the BBto work for the commercial station Radio West, where he presented a latSunday-evening gospel show.
His communication skills were recognised in 1985, when he was appointeDiocesan Communications Officer in the diocese of Gloucester, also working apress officer successively for Bishop John Yates and Bishop Peter Ball. Hcombined these appointments with an ecumenical post as Religious ProgrammeCo-ordinator for another commercial station, Severn Sound, where he presenteand produced a wide range of programmes, including phone-in debatesdocumentaries, and outside broadcasts from all manner of places, includincathedrals and pubs.
His outstanding ability was recognised in 1987, when he was presented witthe Sony Award as Local Radio Personality of the Year, at the annual ceremonin the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and with an Andrew Cross Award in 1992He was made an Hon. Canon of Gloucester Cathedral in 1991.
In 1993, with wide experience of broadcasting and press under his beltAndrew joined the Communications Unit of the General Synod in London, aTraining and Development Officer. His administrative ability, unboundeenthusiasm, and warm personality enabled him to establish a wide range ocourses in communication skills for the laity and clergy, including bishops. Hadvised diocesan communications officers and theological colleges, and helpethem to establish their own training facilities. He was also seconded to briethe Archbishop of Canterbury on media matters.
For a short time in 1998, he was the Archbishops' Adviser for BishopsMinistry, responsible for the induction, support, and continuing education obishops. As it turned out, this was to be a most suitable introduction to hiappointment as Bishop of Taunton in 1998.
Andrew saw his ministry in the diocese primarily as supporting the parisclergy, with particular responsibility for curates in their first four years oministry. He proved to be a popular, much loved bishop, and an able preacheand administrator.
A malignant brain tumour was diagnosed in September last year, and Andy diein the Sue Ryder Hospice in Gloucester near to his home on 21 May, aged 62. Hiwife, Christine, their daughters, Jo and Nicola, and their two grandchildrenEva and Andrew, to all of whom he was devoted, survive hi