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09 September 2022

Canon Brian Stevenson writes:

MAY I add to the appreciations of the late Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (Gazette, 2 September). I was one of his early postgraduate students, in 1969, at Pembroke College, Oxford, on the subject of the episcopal office in the Early Church, and found him really helpful. He was remarkably patient with me, especially as my Greek and Latin were frail compared with his.

We met in his home in north Oxford, the door being usually opened by his father, Brigadier Ware, who would later bring us coffee and biscuits. His study had a large portrait of Tsar Nicholas behind his desk. It was slightly incongruous that I was an Irish Anglican priest and he was a very English Orthodox monk. He encouraged me to dine in college when I came to Oxford to augment my cuisine at the clergy house where I lodged. When I obtained my BD, he wished me well in the Church of England.

I last saw and heard him preach the Three Hours at Winchester Cathedral on Good Friday 2015. His theme was “Jesus our Companion”: he was speaking from personal experience and about it as the foundation of the episcopal office.


The Revd Paul Hunt writes:

THE piece on Frank Williams (News, 1 July) brought back memories of his visit to Mill Hill School, in north London, where I was the chaplain, in May 1995. We processed into the chapel to the Dad’s Army theme tune played on the organ (much to the delight of the congregation), and I then interviewed him as part of that morning’s sixth-form chapel service. Did he ever want to be a real-life vicar, I asked.

The television cleric responded by speaking very movingly about the vocation of the laity and expounding the second collect for Good Friday with its reference to every member of the Church’s serving God “in his vocation and ministry”. His sincerity made an impact on us all, pupils and staff.

The Vicar of Walmington-on-Sea and I attended the same school, but, alas, I was never invited to be his curate.


Alan Swanson writes:

THE Revd Dr Alan Wilkinson (Gazette, 8 July) and I were classmates. Alan had a lively mind and a tendency to contribute to lessons in ways that were not always welcomed by the teacher. He attended that school while his father, the Revd John T. Wilkinson, was a Methodist minister in Scarborough, until 1946, when he became a tutor at Hartley Victoria College — not in the 1930s, as stated in the excellent obituary.

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