*** DEBUG END ***

Recollections: John Miles

19 May 2017

Anthony Richmond writes:

AS A retired journalist, I have much reason to be grateful for the life and work of former Chief Press Officer John Miles (News, 21 April).

When Archbishop Michael Ramsey visited the beleaguered church in apartheid South Africa in 1970, John and I struck up a good working relationship from the start. He asked me not to press the Archbishop too strongly for com­­ments about apartheid at first. Dr Ramsey wanted to be as discreet as possible, not showing any political bias, while he attended the Anglican centenary celebrations and held meet­­ings with senior people in­­cluding Government leaders. In return, John promised that at the end, before they returned to London, all that would change. The Press could question Ramsey as fiercely as we liked and the Arch­bishop would speak out in no un­­certain terms about what he had seen and heard there.

John was true to his word, and, additionally, gave me an exclusive interview with the Archbishop about his undercover meetings with banned anti-apartheid activists, meet­­ings which the authorities had tried to prevent and conceal. The local publicity given to the Arch­bishop’s visits and his sub­­sequent outspoken condem­nation of govern­­ment policy was im­­mensely cheering to victims and opponents of apart­­heid, both Chris­tian and non-Chris­­tian.

Years later, John was sympathetic and, with his wife, Judy, hospitable in helping me and my family to settle and find work in the UK.

A good man; may he rest in peace.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)