A correspondent writes:
THE Revd Geoffrey Davies, who died on 24 August, aged 91, had a long career in the Church in Wales and the Church of England.
Ordained in Brecon in 1951, and serving for two years as a minor canon of the cathedral, he left the area in 1955, to serve at Oystermouth, where he had special responsibility for the recently developed West Cross housing estate. After four years there, he moved to North Wales as Vicar of Cwm in Flintshire, and became Warden of Ordinands for St Asaph diocese in 1962, and a canon of the cathedral in 1966.
Meanwhile, in 1957, he had been invited by the Archbishop of Wales to join the Liturgical Commission of the Church in Wales. During this period he served on the Governing Body of the Church. His work with the Liturgical Commission on revision of texts, and his small book on the funeral service, In Sure and Certain Hope, presaged his appointment in 1963 as secretary of the Liturgical Commission, which he served for seven years.
In 1970, he left stipendiary ministry, and his home country, for teaching in England, taking up the post of Head of RE at the newly built Netherley Comprehensive School, in Liverpool. He became Head of RE at Deanery High School in Wigan in 1973. While at Liverpool and Wigan, he was honorary assistant curate of St John’s, Tuebrook, in West Derby.
He returned to full-time parish ministry in 1981, with a living in Salisbury diocese, as Team Vicar in the Bourne Valley Team Ministry. His teaching experience was recognised when he became Bishop’s Chaplain to Schools in 1983. He was also Rural Dean of Alderbury for three years.
In 1989, he retired from Salisbury diocese, and returned to Liverpool. His then great friend Derek Walters, Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, invited Geoff to become Chaplain of the Cathedral, and he so continued for some 15 years. He had the honour of receiving, from the Queen, her Maundy Money, at a service at the cathedral in 2004. He also helped to arrange the War Widows’ services at the cathedral.
During this time, he took monthly services in Welsh for St Philip’s with St David’s Welsh congregation, and was sub-chaplain of HM Prison Risley, where he deputised for the chaplain every Friday. He was also a frequent visitor to the inmates at the Liverpool Main Bridewell.
Geoff was always interested in football; though a modest man, in 1952, on learning that there was a shortage of referees in Wales, he helped to fill the gap. He was particularly proud that, in 1963, he refereed George Best in his first under-17 youth international at Oldham; playing in goal, at the same match, was Pat Jennings.
Geoff will be sadly missed by all his family and friends, and those who have been privileged in knowing him. He was a wise, dedicated, and compassionate man, with a love of football, cricket, and Christmas pudding.