14 June 2019

Ian Gordon writes:

THE death of the Very Revd Dr John Simpson, Dean Emeritus of Canterbury (Gazette, 31 May), robs the Church of England of one of its ablest priests.

As Archdeacon of Canterbury from 1981 to 1986, he was an inspiration and firm support to the clergy in the diocese, and, as Dean, from 1986 to 2000 he transformed the ministry of Canterbury Cathedral, supervising the relaying of the nave floor including the Compass Rose and building the Cathedral Centre.

On retirement to Folkestone, he was more than generous in giving his time to churches, in particular the town’s historic 880-year-old parish church of St Mary and St Eanswythe, where we came to know and love him and his wife, Ruth, as members of our community and John as a preacher and teacher beyond compare.

He will be missed by us and many, many more who will have cause to remember him and as a wise and generous pastor. Our prayers and condolences go out to his widow, Ruth, and his children and family. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

The Revd John Cossins writes: It was with considerable interest that I read the obituary of the Very Revd John Simpson. I was a student at Oak Hill College at the time that John was teaching church history. I note that “The teaching of church history had broadened his understanding.” I can add that learning church history from him broadened my understanding of my Christian faith, for which I will always be grateful. He enabled his students to appreciate the liturgy and theology of two millennia of Christian history in a way so often lacking today.

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