02 November 2006

THE Revd Kenneth Frank Middleton, who died on 20 November, aged 77, was educated at Taunton's School, near Southampton.

After National Service with the RAF in Singapore, he went up to Keble College, Oxford, to read History. After taking a further degree
in Theology at St Stephen's House, he was ordained in 1955 to St
Matthew's, a slum parish in Leicester. He served a further curacy in West Hackney, before returning to St Matthew's parish, by then an estate of council flats.

He remained there as Vicar for 22 years, also becoming Rural Dean, and an Hon. Canon of Leicester Cathedral.

Active in social enterprises and politics, he was elected Leader of Leicester City Council, and Leader of the Labour opposition on Leicestershire County Council.

After five years as Team Rector and Rural Dean of Bridgnorth, he was invited to become Team Rector of Littleham-cum-Exmouth, with the unenviable task of closing at least one of the four churches. In fact, he closed two, and this was achieved relatively happily. He was also responsible for outstanding additions and improvements at Holy Trinity. He continued an uncompromising ministry to church and town, until, aged 71, reluctantly retiring to a nearby village.

His wife, Ann, three sons, and a daughter survive him. His eldest child, the Revd Dr Catherine Middleton, died in 2000 while Director of Ministerial Training and Lecture in Semantic Theology at Mansfield College, Oxford.

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