30 November 2018

Geoffrey Baguley writes:

I HAD the pleasure of regular contact with Canon Hugh Melinsky (Gazette, 23 November) during his time at Norwich. As Canon Missioner, he assembled an ecumenical group of Christians. He rejoiced that our “Wee Frees” member was a Miss Strathdee. His attitude towards our woman Baptist minister was unfailingly courteous, receptive, and never condescending. We made effective advances in understanding and cherishing each other’s Christianity under his urbane chairmanship — “I owe much to my rabbinical forebears.” Ecumenism at its best.

Hugh was a member of a city council committee considering the licensing of films lacking British Board of Film Censors approval. They watched an utterly boring Swedish film on sexual intercourse. Hugh said that, if only the coffee table on which the blasé couple were mechanically performing had collapsed, British audiences would find it much more interesting.

When invited to come to the youth club I was then running, he decided not to talk about sex: “They probably know as much about it as I do. I know, I’ll talk about death, something too often avoided. They might find the Buddhist approach interesting.” My group responded with close attention and many questions. They were clearly captivated and enlightened by a thoughtful and gifted teacher.

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