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RIP Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward

We are saddened to report the death of Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward on Easter Eve at the age of 89. 

The current Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Christopher Cocksworth said:

"Today, Holy Saturday, Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward died. Simon was Bishop of Coventry from 1985 to 1997, and was dearly loved. Indeed, he remains in people’s hearts across the Diocese. Many people across the Diocese of Coventry were ordained or first licensed or confirmed by him. Bishop John worked closely with Simon during his curacy and, like many of us, has many stories to tell of Bishop Simon’s faithful and loving ministry. 

Before coming to Coventry, Bishop Simon was my Spiritual Director and, throughout my time as one of his successors, Simon’s example has been an inspiration. I learnt so much from him and I join with the Diocese of Coventry as a whole in being indebted to this kind and holy Father-in-God. 

Bishop Simon taught me to pray a very simple prayer, called "The Jesus Prayer". He told me that, like him, I would need to use it during the day as bishop "to come up for air". We give thanks for this person of prayer who knew how to dwell in the presence of God, and who will now breathe the sweet and pure air of the new creation. And we pray for his dear wife Jean, for their daughters, Helen and Mary and for the whole family."

Simon Barrington-Ward studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Westcott House, before being ordained in 1956.

He served as chaplain at Magdalene College; then spent three years lecturing at Ibadan University (Nigeria), before returning to Magdalene in 1963, this time as a Fellow and Dean.

He was the General Secretary of Church Missionary Society (CMS) from 1975 to 1985, and was also Chaplain to the Queen from 1984 to 1985.

From 1985 to 1997, he served as the seventh Bishop of Coventry. He was consecrated a bishop by Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, on All Saints' Day 1985 (1 November) at Westminster Abbey.

After his retirement from Coventry, he continued as a bishop with pastoral care of the University of Cambridge, and an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Ely.

Bishop Simon returned as an honorary assistant chaplain of Magdalene College, where he was an honorary fellow since 1987, and a chaplain to the staff of Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

He was knighted as a Knight Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 2001.

Page last updated: Tuesday 14th April 2020 12:12 PM
First published on: 14th April 2020
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