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Obituary: Canon Gordon Scott

19 January 2018

A correspondent writes:

THE Revd Gordon Scott, who died on 2 January, aged 87, trained at St John’s College, Durham, and was ordained deacon in Durham Cathedral in 1953. He had several curacies in the diocese, before becoming Vicar of St Cuthbert’s, Marley Hill, from 1959.

After marrying Sheila in 1962, he moved to London, where he served as Chaplain at the Forest School, Snaresbrook. In 1966, they moved to the far north-west of Scotland, to Dunrobin School, where he was chaplain and also taught French and PE. He led school expeditions into the Highlands, and supported local clergy and their churches. It was in this time that the couple had their three sons, Michael, David, and Andrew.

Gordon served a further chaplaincy, at Pocklington School in Yorkshire, before returning to parish ministry in Carlisle diocese. He loved to be parish priest in the rural communities that he served, successively Barton with Pooley Bridge (1974-80), Lazonby with Great Salkeld (1980-90), and Patterdale and Glenridding (1990-94). He visited every home as he took the parish newsletter door to door, often making time for a talk, a prayer, and a cup of tea.

In Patterdale and Glenridding, this meant some long walks into the valleys and hills to outlying farms — a delight that he shared with his faithful companion — a golden Retriever. He was also Rural Dean of Penrith at that time. Gordon began a tradition of “beating the parish bounds” there. It is now a popular annual event: a challenging 30 miles, with 10,000ft of ascent.

Gordon retired early to Keswick, owing to ill health, and joined the congregation at St John’s, initially helping with mid-week communion services. In these latter years, he had to be content with ever shorter walks, still gazing up to the mountains he loved.

Sheila’s sudden death, four years ago, was a shock to Gordon and the family. She was his tower of strength, and looked after him in a wonderful way. Gordon showed great determination to remain living at home, with the growing support of wonderful carers. He continued to attend St John’s whenever he could; it was a highlight of his week. Over the last months, he became increasingly frail and in pain owing to degenerating vertebrae. He began to look forward to going “home to heaven”.

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