Saturday, December 13, 2008
I was sad when I read yesterday in the Church Times that Jonathan Bailey has died. He was only 69 years old. Jonathan was latterly Bishop of Derby. I worked with him when he was Archdeacon of Southend in the Diocese of Chelmsford and I was Industrial Chaplain for Harlow from 1989 until 1997; though Jonathan was appointed to a suffragan bishopric in another diocese before I left Essex. One of his roles as Archdeacon was to lead the team of Industrial Missioners, or Chaplains, in Essex, known collectively as ECCIC- Essex Churches' Council for Industry and Commerce. It was an ecumenical team, though Anglicans predominated; and the Roman Catholic contribution was more often in moral, and some financial, support rather than in the shape of personnel. Jonathan's skill, and warmth, as a team leader of a diverse team gave me a role model whom I could watch and learn from important lessons about leadership and team motivation. The monthly ECCIC meetings led by Jonathan were the most fruitful and stimulating meetings of clergy working together on a common purpose that I have ever been involved with in my ministry to date. Jonathan's death undoubtedly deprives the "Church in earth" of a wise and compassionate counsellor and teacher; but hopefully I, and others who sat at his feet, will practice and propogate those good things which we learned from him.