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Obituary: Canon Frances Briscoe

15 July 2022

The Rt Revd Geoffrey Pearson writes:

FRANCES BRISCOE came to know Christ and committed her life to him when she was ten. After 20 years in the teaching profession, mainly RE and music, Frances spent 25 years serving the Church in a variety of posts, often pioneering ones.

After her lay ministry, she was ordained deacon in 1987. The following year she was installed as an Honorary Canon of Liverpool Cathedral, in recognition of her work in promoting women’s ministry. In 1989, she was appointed Area Dean of Sefton, one of the first, if not the first, woman to such a post. She served on the General Synod for ten years and represented that body on the Cathedrals’ Advisory Commission and the Advisory Board for Ministry.

For more than 20 years, Frances served on the Council of Scargill House, most of the time as vice-chair. In retirement, she was one of the Moderators of Reader Training for the north-west dioceses. She also became a very conscientious Deanery Visitor for Retired Clergy and Widows and Widowers.

She married Austin, whom she described as her “rock”. They had no children, but they were very close to their godson, Canon Dennis Bailey, who became an unofficial “adopted” son. The latter combined his work for the UN in Ukraine with helping Frances on her final journey.

Frances was simply a lovely, humble follower of Jesus. A “foster” mum who loved music, theatre, and literature. She loved to lead worship and preach in a variety of churches often as a Bible Society speaker. She believed that God had called her to teaching and to ministry, and she continually praised him for way in which he had led her. In the Liverpool diocese, Frances had a real “treasure” status.

Canon Frances Briscoe died on 12 May, aged 88.

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