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Recollections

by
29 November 2013

A correspondent writes:
FURTHER to your obituary of the Ven. Mark Wilson (Gazette, 8 November): he was the third of four children of the Vicar of Holy Trinity, Southall. Aged seven, Mark joined St Paul's Cathedral Choir, and became Head Chorister before he left to go to St John's, Leatherhead.

He won a choral exhibition to Clare College, Cambridge, where, besides singing in the chapel choir, he co-founded the Clare Canaries - a group of friends who formed a barbershop quartet singing close-harmony songs at many venues. His sense of humour, cheerful and energetic nature, and capacity always to look for the good in every person and situation he met were lifelong characteristics.

Natural sciences gave way to theology, and, after graduation, he trained for ordination at Ridley Hall. Six months into his title post at St Mary's, Luton, he married Mavis French, a fellow-student. During his long association with Guildford diocese, his 15 years as Vicar of Christ Church, Epsom, were very creative. Many curates were trained, including Christopher Cocksworth, now Bishop of Coventry. The parish produced 15 ordinands.

Mark was delighted when his wife, too, was ordained, and together they helped to pioneer the concept of married couples in ministry. The vicarage was a very busy home, welcoming to all in need. Lay people were encouraged to develop gifts in leadership, spiritual direction, and prayer.

Days off were spent developing a growing love of gardening. He created five beautiful gardens during his lifetime, and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants, especially fuchsias. He was an accomplished sportsman, making record-breaking contributions to the diocesan cricket team. His love of the sea was enshrined in many memories of family holidays in Cornwall.

He was a keen amateur geologist, while singing and playing the flute remained among his abiding passions. He co-founded Heartmusic, a diocesan group of musicians, who introduced wide range of contemporary music for worship across the diocese.

His bold decision in 2004 to resign as Archdeacon came when he had realised that God was calling him to a deeper vocation in the ministry of healing. Even before his ordination, he had sat at the feet of people such as Agnes Sandford and Dr Frank Lake, and, throughout his life, he found time to promote the healing ministry, as Diocesan Chair of the Guild of Health, and later as Bishop's Adviser on Healing and the Paranormal.

He trained with both Metanoia and the Psychosynthesis Institute, and set up a practice as a therapist, built entirely by word of mouth and personal recommendation. Helping very many people at difficult stages of their lives was a costly and sometimes risky ministry: he went with his patients into dark places, and helped them enter the light.

He is survived by his wife, four children, and five grandchildren.

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