Prebendary John Good writes:
PREBENDARY Michael Moreton, who died on 25 September, aged 97, was
successively Rector and Priest-in-Charge of St Mary Steps in Exeter
for more than three decades. He was an example of a priest who
accompanied his parishioners on a life-long journey.
His academic discipline and learning, focused in the Department
of Theology at Exeter University, was shared with a succession of
assistant curates, some, like myself, not especially academically
gifted. With patience and gentleness, he encouraged us to continue
reading and translating the Greek New Testament; he promoted
writing and delivering papers; but is best remembered by my
generation for a thorough and painstaking examination and
explanation of the documents of the Anglican-Roman Catholic
International Commission. In this, he was inspiring in defining the
spirit of Anglicanism as both Catholic and reformed.
Fr Moreton (never referred to by his Christian name) was
critical of liturgical reform - Series 2 and 3, the 1980
Alternative Service Book - for they did not measure up to his
understanding of eucharistic theology; yet he never put us down or
dismissed our enthusiasm for liturgical change, expansion, and
experiment, and passion for lay involvement as it developed. We
learned that words matter, and liturgy is the school for a right
understanding of the faith.
He was a good pastor, and, like Bishop Robert Mortimer, a man
for one-liners: of the priesthood he said "Magnify your Office,"
and to a young vurate about to be married, "Your wife comes
He was our son's godfather, and, without fail, a card would be
received every year on the anniversary of his baptism until very
recently: a priest who said his prayers. At his requiem, Prebendary
Brian Tubbs spoke of his devotion to the eucharist. "He believed it
changed things." It was the greatest and best lesson he gave