Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Revd Canon Chris Bard

I have learned belatedly today of the death of The Reverend Canon Chris Bard last month. The Church Times website has an obituary here.. I came into contact with Chris several times as a clergy colleague in the Diocese of Chelmsford. He was combining being priest-in-charge of Epping Upland and Diocesan Communications Officer when I started work combining priest-in-charge of Hatfield Broad Oak with Bush End and Industrial Chaplain to Harlow. Only a few years older than me, Chris was the kind of priest who gave me hope for the Church of England and encouraged me to believe it was worth sticking with. He was an outright supporter of women's ordination. He had none of the hedging and evasion that characterised so many priests who professed to be in favour but wouldn't commit until the Pope did - in other words, had their heads in the sand and didn't really care that much about it. He was forward -looking and engaged with contemporary issues; as his early adoption of computer use demonstrated. Although I did not know Chis well as a personal friend his commitments and concerns inspired me in the early years of my ministry.

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