CANON Raymond Hockley,
who died on 11 September last year, aged 82, became an Anglican in
his early 20s, having been a Quaker in his teens.
He was born in Sheffield,
and attended Firth Park Grammar School. It was through a teacher
there that he became a Quaker and joined the Student Christian
Movement. Instead of National Service, he worked for the Friends
Ambulance Unit International Service in Hampshire, followed by a
year in a Family Service Unit. It was with this organisation that
he became a great friend of the Revd Alfred Jowett, who was a large
influence on his conversion.
Raymond loved music from
the age of five, and completed his first composition, aged 11. In
1951, he won the Macfarren Scholarship for Composition, which
entitled him to three years' free tuition at the Royal Academy of
Music, where he studied under William Alwyn. He also won several
prizes including the Clements Memorial Prize for the Best Chamber
Music composed by a British subject in 1954 and in 1955. His music
was played regularly by the Society for the Promotion of New Music,
and some was broadcast by the BBC on the Third Programme.
After the Royal Academy
of Music, he studied theology at Wescott House, Cambridge, and was
ordained in Sheffield in 1958. He was Assistant Curate at St
Augustine's, Brocco Bank, becoming Curate-in-Charge of Holy
Trinity, Wicker with Neepsend, Pitsmoor, in 1961. From there, he
went back to Westcott House as Chaplain in 1963. The first
performance of his cantata for Easter and the Ascension was
In 1968, Raymond was
appointed Chaplain of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and he remained
in this post until 1976. He was elected Fellow and Director of
Music in 1970. It was at Emmanuel that he wrote Parlour
Games, which had its première at the May Week Concert of 1972.
This was a composition in eight movements, with each movement
inspired by and dedicated to Fellows and other members of Emmanuel.
The movements were Jolly, Sad, Gentle, Boisterous, Serene, Lively,
Absurd, and Passionate. I am not sure how many people recognised
any of their characteristics in the music.
He also composed pieces
for the Chapel Choir, and it was during these years that he started
his study of the life and works of Edward Naylor, composer and
sometime organist at Emmanuel and Honorary Fellow. Raymond was
fully involved in all aspects of college life, not just spiritual
and musical areas, and at times was chairman of the Athletics Club
and honorary vice-president of the Debating Society. Many students
who passed through the college in these years remained his
After his years in
Cambridge, Raymond was appointed Residentiary Canon and Precentor
of York Minster by Archbishop Stuart Blanch, later Lord Blanch. The
Dean at the time was Ronald Jasper, whom he had met through work
for the Liturgical Commission. He remained there until his
retirement 19 years later.
During his time, he
served with a variety of canons, and with Jasper's two successors,
John Southgate and (briefly) Raymond Furnell. It would be fair to
say that there were frustrations connected with his ministry as
Precentor. Serving as a liturgical canon at a time when the Dean
chaired the Liturgical Commission was bound to create certain
frictions. Jasper's insistence on the introduction of the new
liturgies associated with the Alternative Service Book were not to
everyone's taste, and Raymond had to cope with much tension.
Whe he arrived at York,
the Master of the Music was Dr Francis Jackson, and on his
retirement Raymond was involved in the appointment of his
successor, Philip Moore. Two of his important responsibilities as
Precentor were the installation of an earlier friend of his from
Westcott House days, Dr John Habgood (now Lord Habgood), as
Archbishop, and the re-dedication, in the presence of the Queen, of
the south transept after the great fire of 1984.
Throughout his term of
office, he served assiduously as chairman of the governors of the
Minster School. He was in charge at the time of considerable
expansion and development. The school changed from being a tiny
choir school, consisting mainly of choristers with a few
non-singing boys, to a normal preparatory school nearly four times
the size of the one that Raymond had inherited. Co-education was
introduced, thus paving the way for a girls' choir in the
In his retirement,
Raymond moved from York to a small bungalow at Sneaton Castle in
Whitby, home to the Order of the Holy Paraclete. He became a close
friend of the nuns, and helped them and their Chaplain with
services. He had a short period at the College of St Barnabas at
Lingwood, before moving to Sutton Coldfield to live in a house
owned by his friend Richard Mason. He became a regular worshipper
at Emmanuel Church, Wylde Green, made many friends and was a
regular contributor to services.
During his retirement,
Raymond wrote several suites of piano music, and gave private
performances of his work at parties for friends in York and also at
listening, and counselling skills, together with his cheeky sense
of humour, will be much missed by his many friends.
A requiem mass, on 22
September, was attended by a large number of his friends, and most
periods of Raymond's life were represented.
Some of his work will be
performed in a memorial concert in Emmanuel College Chapel,
Cambridge, on 27 April, at 2.30 p.m.