Canon John Rankin writes:
I WAS one of the Ven. Timothy Raphael’s first assistant curates at St John’s Wood, London, following his return from New Zealand (Obituary, 27 January). Tim opened the thinking of the Church to new ideas; he continued a traditional ministry, but with contemporary understanding.
You felt better for listening to his sermons. Sometimes he gave three on a Sunday. They were infused with illustrations from a film he had seen, an exhibition visited, or a theatre outing. Holy Week and Good Friday were a challenge that he enjoyed. On Easter Day, he, and his wife, invited the curates to a restaurant for a celebratory meal in the evening. Hospitality was key to Timothy and Anne’s ministry.
A curate of George Reindorp, Tim took up Reindorp’s Monday-morning staff meeting: visiting lists were gone through, culminating in lunch, and a programme for the week. Many curates have found the relationship with training incumbents difficult. Timothy was open, reassuring, and non-judgemental. He was a great guy to work with.