The Rt Revd Rupert Hoare writes:
AFTER just one curacy of three years in Coventry, the Revd David
Wingate, who died on 15 June, aged 91, was appointed Vicar of
Wolston, halfway between Coventry and Rugby, in 1952. In the four
years that he was there, our family got to know him, his wife,
Olga, and their family very well.
David's ministry was hugely appreciated by my parents, who were
active members of the congregation at Wolston; they found him a
delight to work with, and continued to talk about him with great
affection long after he left the parish. They looked back on that
time as golden years for church and village.
An immediate talking-point on David's arrival was his beard. We
were not used to a vicar with a beard. My sister Elizabeth, then
aged 15, remembers being impressed by how smart and neat it was. My
youngest sister, Frances, aged five, on the other hand, initially
refused to come to church because of it. She was quickly won over
by his friendliness and kindness, as we all were. David and Olga
opened their home to everyone; for example, the church fête was
held in the vicarage garden.
It was David's quiet and godly humility, combined with his
friendliness and genuine interest in people, and his readiness to
join in whatever was going on, which was so attractive. One year,
my parents wrote an opera for the village choir to perform.
Everyone had a part to play, and the Vicar was duly cast as the
villain of the piece, namely the Regional Controller, the complete
opposite of David's own character and role. We all have the warmest
memories of him and his ministry in Wolston.
We had no direct relationship with him after he left, but always
felt sure that, whether as parish priest or hospital chaplain, he
would exemplify all that was best in the ordained ministry of the
Church of England.
Joan Hotton adds: David Wingate, with his wife Olga,
came to minister in St John's, Cotehill, with Cumwhinton, villages
outside Carlisle, in the early 1970s, and stayed until he retired
15 years later. He very quickly endeared himself to this community
and beyond. He and Olga were a team.
David ensured that we became involved with deanery events that
extended our church fellowship, as he did also in his chaplaincy of
Garlands Hospital (an old-style mental hospital). The same plays
and nativities acted at St John's were also performed there for the
David united the two different communities of Cotehill and
Cumwhinton as no other incumbent before him had. He fought for the
two to be joined by the more encompassing word "with" rather than
"and". There was no church in the village of Cumwhinton except the
village hall, built in 1908, when it had been dedicated to be used
as a place of worship. David was responsible for getting the hall
renovated, and starting a popular monthly service there. He
encouraged services with the Guides and Brownies, and he took
groups of young people for adventure holidays in St John's in the
The vicarage was a welcoming open house for everyone, including
those from Garlands, who came every Sunday afternoon, and the Young
Eaglets, who had the run of the garden. We have wonderful memories
of the summer fêtes held there. David had the gift of being able to
rope in even non-churchgoers to help with these. With his handsome
beard, he would usually win the competition for the owner who
looked most like his dog - Tess was a friendly old English
There was not one villager who did not have a venue for
Christmas dinner, because David and Olga shared their family and
home with their usual generosity. We were all delighted when he
became a Canon of Carlisle Cathedral.
Working on an ancient typewriter, David also started the monthly
newsletter, which, from when the parish joined up with All Saints',
Scotby, in the mid-1990s, is now called "Pow Maughan", the name of
the beck that meanders through, and unites, the now one parish of
Scotby and Cotehill with Cumwhinton. Memories of, and gratitude to,
David as our faith leader will always meander through our