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22 November 2013

John Wallace writes:

FURTHER to your obituary of Canon Frank Scuffham (Gazette, 15 November): what is missing is the ecumenical work in which Frank was involved. In the early 1970s, a new estate was planned for the south of Corby, Danesholme. The vision of the local and active Council of Churches was for an ecumenical presence. So a local ecumenical partnership was set up by the Church of England, the Church of Scotland (which had three churches in Corby), the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church.

The Corby Development Corporation supported what we had planned. An Anglican priest, as Minister-in-Charge of the Conventional District, and a Baptist minister were appointed, and they were among the first residents of the estate. The Development Corporation provided both housing for the clergy and a bungalow for a worship centre.

Frank chaired the Sponsoring Body, and he was influential in the way the way in which the project developed. We opened a community centre, where the main worship took place, but there was also attached a small chapel for quiet reflection. Frank, as chairman, was incredibly supportive, and ensured that we had all that was needed for this innovative venture.

Regrettably, the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Douglas Feaver, later withdrew Anglican support, because of our failure to produce enough confirmation candidates. Frank's support produced a model of ecumenical engagement which showed how all of us could work together for the Kingdom of God. It is sad that it ended as it did. I salute a great saint. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

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