The death of Charles Gordon-Lennox, 10th Duke of Richmond on Friday 1 September marks the loss of a committed Christian layman. He served the Church internationally on the World Council of Churches. For the Church of England, he was a Church Commissioner and a member of the General Synod, serving with distinction, generosity, wisdom and cheerfulness, and handling doctrinal differences without rancour.
Closer to home he was an attentive Patron of several parishes. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved racing, of course. And he was a faithful, communicant Christian, living and dying with faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, into which he had been baptised 87 years ago.
We give thanks for the contribution of this noble and gracious man; we pray for his family and all who grieve for him. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
It is something of a coincidence that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor also died on 1 September, after a short illness.
Cardinal Cormac, as he was known, always spoke with great warmth of his time in Sussex. It was marked by the growth of understanding between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion in the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), which he co-chaired. This coloured his outlook on the Church of England, and it was characteristic of his regard for us that his final statement, as he approached death, mentioned Anglicans among those he had valued in his life and ministry.
Let us remember this great Catholic leader and ecumenist with thanksgiving, as we commend him to the Lord he served so cheerfully and faithfully on earth. May the angels welcome him; may the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints pray for him in the heavenly Jerusalem, the end of all our striving and the destination to which he directed so many who encountered him on earth. +Martin Cicestr: