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27 July 2018

The Revd Paul Hutchinson writes:

YOUR obituary of Canon Richard Bevan (Gazette, 11 and 18 May) mentions that he was Chaplain to the University of Durham from 1961 to 1974, but does not mention the posts which he held alongside this.

When he arrived in Durham, he was incumbent of the parish surrounding the cathedral: St Mary le Bow — which was to become Durham Heritage Centre during his time — with St Mary the Less — now the chapel of St John’s, College).

Three years later, however, he added to his charge the more substantial parish of St Oswald, across the river. This was most famous, perhaps, as the parish of the Victorian hymn-tune writer J. B. Dykes. Several colleges had recently opened in the parish, and the university was also developing its science site on the ground once occupied by Elvet Colliery.

The Kingsgate Bridge, which joined St Mary’s and St Oswald’s and connected the newer parts of the university with its ancient core opened soon after Richard moved to St Oswald’s. I understand the bridge was sometimes jokingly known as “Bevan’s Bridge”.

His three successors in Durham have continued to have a natural ministry among students as part of their parochial post, and have some­times also held college chaplaincies.

His move to Grasmere in 1974 was from one notable northern church dedicated to St Oswald to another.

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