Thinking Anglicans

Death of David Edwards announced

Southwark Cathedral has announced the death of the former Dean of Norwich and earlier Provost of Southwark, the Very Revd David Edwards.

The Very Revd David Edwards OBE 1929-2018
Thursday, April 26, 2018

It was with sadness that we heard of the death of the Very Revd Dr David Edwards, OBE in Winchester on Wednesday 25 April 2018. David, as well as being Sub Dean at Westminster, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Dean of Norwich, had been Provost of Southwark from 1983 until 1994. He was a man of huge distinction, a great academic, chronicling, amongst other things, the history of the church. Those who worked with him speak of his kindness and generosity, a man who lived out the principles of inclusion before they were ever fashionable in the Church of England. He was partly responsible for the first development of buildings on the north side of the Cathedral, work begun by his predecessor, Harold Frankham, but brought to fruition by David. Like a former Bishop of Winchester, Lancelot Andrewes, David would be at his studies and his writing before noon, a real scholar.

As Dean of Southwark, I am in awe of my predecessors who were men of stature within the life of the Church of England. They each helped to create Southwark Cathedral as a vibrant, engaged, welcoming and inclusive community in which theology, orthodox and radical, taught and lived, was central and vital. David was premier amongst these in terms of his scholarship.

We extend our love and prayers to his children and pray that he may now receive the reward that awaits him from the God he loved and knew and served.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Andrew Nunn


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6 years ago

This is a shame, but a life well-lived. I read him a lot, and he did much to re-explain. Nevertheless, there was always the sense he was an also-ran, following on the coat-tails of others. He did risk others commenting back, so in his Tradition and Truth (1989) the theologians he wrote about said one after another that he’d either missed the point or didn’t get it about each of them. He could still survey the scene, however, representing what was a being lost: a middling Anglicanism that he found fewer upholding intellectually.

Marc S
Marc S
6 years ago

I was privileged to meet Dr Edwards numerous times during his period as Dean of Norwich, all those years ago. He was a lovely man: open-minded, kind and interested in others. May he rest in peace.

Simon R
Simon R
6 years ago

When I was a curate, I wrote a letter to the Times, critiquing the backlash from a group of then-prominent Evangelical spokesmen (and they were all men!) who were predicting Armageddon if rumours about Rowan Williams being appointed ABC proved to be true. A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from David Edwards, whom I had never met, thanking me for my contribution and affirming my decision to publish the letter. ‘I have waited a week or so before writing’ he wrote ‘because you may have received negative feedback from certain quarters and may be harbouring doubts… I… Read more »

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