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DR ROWAN WILLIAMS TRIBUTE TO A BISHOP WITH “NATURAL PITCH”

On Wednesday 5 July, 2017 the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner presided over the funeral of The Right Reverend Dr Douglas Geoffrey Rowell, former Bishop of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe at Chichester Cathedral.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams attended along with senior church representatives from Turkey and the Middle East.

In his address Dr Williams observed “Geoffrey was a friend for some 45 years – for part of that time, as a fellow member of the House of Bishops of the Church of England. Some of the conversations which I knew were going to be most fertile and challenging were those in the margins of the House of Bishops with the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. One such conversation, which I remember vividly, followed on a debate in the House, which might have been about some contemporary controversial issue (such debates do happen from time to time). I remember Geoffrey’s impatience – controlled, but visible: ‘We don’t know’, he said, ‘these days how to talk about certain subjects in public without muddle and vulgarity.’ He wasn’t reflecting embarrassment or prudery, but simply a sense that, in so much of our theological discussion of sensitive matters in ethics and personal life, we didn’t really know the key to sing in. Geoffrey, to pursue the metaphor, had natural pitch. Geoffrey’s sense of the ‘musical’ coherence of Christian doctrine and spirituality was one of the things that made him so powerful and credible as, not exactly an advocate, but simply a witness to the essentials of Catholic Christianity.”

You can download and/or read the address in full HERE

Pictures are by Christopher Ison at Chichester Cathedral