Thursday, June 19, 2008

Death of Henry Chadwick

I was sorry to hear of the death of Henry Chadwick on Tuesday, also mentioned by Rob Bradshaw on Earlychurch.org.uk. Today's Times has the obituary:

The Very Rev Professor Henry Chadwick: priest and scholar

The end of the obituary mentions his college sermons. That was the only time I met him, when he came to preach at Exeter College when I was an undergraduate there. I still remember the topic, the Good Samaritan, and our discussion afterwards, which was about jazz and the Beatles.

Rob Bradshaw mentions the obituaries in the Telegraph and The Guardian. Tomorrow's Times has a piece in Lives Remembered, which, as usual, raises a smile:
. . . . Towards the end of his time as Master of Peterhouse, he confided to me that he had concerns about moving his books from the Master’s Lodge to his rather smaller house in St John’s Street, Oxford. “Do you have many books?” I fatuously asked. “About 20,000,” he replied, without any apparent perception that this was unusual.

When he was kind enough to sponsor my application for a reader’s ticket for the Bodleian Library, he signed off the necessary form as “Henry Chadwick, Master of Peterhouse”; but, clearly concerned that this style might not cut much ice at Oxford, he added “and sometime Dean of Christ Church”. There was not much space left after that but, evidently still uneasy, he found room to add “and Curator of Bodley”. In his covering letter to me, he wrote: “I hope the enclosed does the trick . . . ” It did.
There are also pages at the University of Cambridge tomorrow (though it wrongly gives his age as 88) and tomorrow's Church Times. The latter also has an obituary but it is subscription only.

1 comment:

Christopher Shell said...

A much respected and very dear man, and a true Christian. The befuddlement about which party/denomination he was is no accident, since it is invariably the case that the truest Christians are those respected, accepted and owned across the board. Everyone 'owns' St Francis, Chesterton, Lewis, John Mott, Temple, John XXIII, Newbigin, Stott, Metzger, Mother Teresa, Chiara Lubich, Barbara Ward, John Sentamu, Tom Wright and other 'mere christians' like that. (They are even inclined to make them in their own more limited image - but in vain.)

Once when referring to Aquinas in a paper on patristics, he added in parentheses: '[should auld Aquinas be forgot]'.