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Obituary: The Revd Raymond Davies

by
27 July 2018

The Revd Raymond Davies with his wife, Menna

The Revd Raymond Davies with his wife, Menna

A correspondent writes:

THE Revd Raymond Emlyn Peter Davies, who died on 19 April, aged 93, dedicated his life to serving his parishes, supported by his wife, Menna. Their home, in ministry and retirement, always had an open door.

Ray was born in the seaside village of Newton, Porthcawl, in south Wales; and he rediscovered, on retirement to Weston-super-Mare, the seascape which he had loved as a boy.

He and Menna worked in the poorest mining valleys of south Wales in the 1950s and 1960s. There was a raw community spirit, and they helped to fulfil the need for youth work. They sought leaders to set up Brownies, Guides, Cubs, and Scout groups, as well as community associations. Some of these thrive today.

By allowing the music of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash in church long before it became fashionable, he brought young people in to his churches, where they participated in services and played their guitars. He also started to hold united services with the Methodist Church, at times against opposition.

Ray fought for human rights and the marginalised both in word and action; he demonstrated with CND. His ability to empathise with others made him suited to the post of listener with the Samaritans in Cardiff.

On retirement to Weston-super-Mare, Ray and Menna held regular poetry, Scrabble, and chess evenings, and joined the U3A group. They became chair and secretary of the village friendship circle. In his semi-retirement to Wells, he had become a guide at the cathedral and wrote a prayer for the occasion. They finally moved to Yorkshire, as ill-health prevailed, to be near family.

Ray is remembered as a humble, kind man, generous to a fault, and was described at his thanksgiving service as an inspiration; no doubt, he would have denied this.

He leaves behind his wife, Menna, four children, 12 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.

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