Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, has announced with great sadness the unexpected death of his colleague, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham.

Paying tribute to Bishop Alan, Bishop Steven said: “Alan was a dear friend and colleague to many across the Diocese. Alan has deep friendships and pastoral relationships across both church and community in Bucks. He has offered remarkable leadership to our work in education and church schools over more than a decade. Alan has been a friend and advocate for survivors of abuse and a strong ally and supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community for many years.

“Alan had recently begun a well-earned sabbatical and was planning to use the time to plan and prepare for retirement in the next year. Alan loved God and loved God’s church with a rare passion. He was a bishop who prioritised the parishes and clergy in his care above everything else and served the people of Buckinghamshire with devotion over a long and demanding ministry.

“I will miss him as a friend and colleague. The Church has lost a wise, pastoral and prophetic bishop.”

There is more on the Oxford diocesan website.

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Tobias Haller
1 month ago

He will be very much missed.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Tobias Haller
1 month ago

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Dame Ann Limb DBE DL
Dame Ann Limb DBE DL
1 month ago

An extraordinary and compassionate human being. I am deeply saddened.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
1 month ago

What a tragedy. Bishop Alan was a bishop with such integrity and was indeed prophetic and clear sighted. He will be much missed.

Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Back in the early days of blogging, ‘Bishop Alan’s Blog’ was one of my favourite places to visit on the web. Alan was inclusive long before I was (and at the time I was a bit suspicious because of that), but I could also see that he had strong connections across the breadth of the church (I remember him attending leadership conferences at Willow Creek Community Church, for instance), and of course a strong voice for social justice. I’m grateful for the part his blogging played in my own journey. Rest in peace and rise in glory, brother.

David Chillingworth
David Chillingworth
1 month ago

Always kind and supportive – a voice both brave and compassionate. He will be greatly missed

mike the rev
mike the rev
1 month ago

This is deeply upsetting and one of those times when God – or life – seems very unfair. He still had a lot to live for.

Josephine Stein
Josephine Stein
1 month ago

What a dreadful tragedy. We will miss Bishop Alan terribly, but his inspiration lives on.

Alastair (living in Scotland)
Alastair (living in Scotland)
1 month ago

I heard much of +Alan when I lived in Ox Diocese and since. Thoughtful inclusive and communicative. Highly thought of as priest to priests and others. Cusp on retirement. Hence also tragic for family.

Dorothy Berry
Dorothy Berry
1 month ago

I so well remember Alan when he was Curate here in Eynsham. I was
Pathfinder leader at the time, and was encouraged by Alan’s support.
Also his love of music in worship. God bless you Lucy.

Gilo
Gilo
1 month ago

Alan was a lovely being who held huge intellect with enormous heart for others.

He was often not just head and shoulders above the bench of bishops in terms of integrity and the ability to speak truth truthfully and clearly … but a mile above. He showed what being a bishop could be. In a deeply broken and damaging Church, he and Rosie Harper his consigliere in essential justice work, have been a unique team.

A great soul has passed.

I will miss him terribly.

Julian Whiting
Julian Whiting
1 month ago

It takes courage to raise one’s head above the parapet and go the extra mile. Here is one person that did just that and more. Bishop Alan thank you for your service and your heart for others. You will be missed. Shalom

Jeremy Charles Baring Pemberton
Jeremy Charles Baring Pemberton
1 month ago

Alan Wilson was an extraordinary man. He gave great service in every ministerial post he held and combined a keen intelligence with a most remarkable pastoral sense. He was completely unaffected, one of the least ‘bishoppy’ bishops you could wish to meet. What he possessed, because of the Christlike servant nature of his ministry, was a palpable spiritual presence and genuineness. In addition to all the ordinary duties of an area bishop in a very large diocese, Alan was also, as he put it to me once, a ‘kind of episcopal chaplain’ to two groups in particular who were close… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Jeremy Charles Baring Pemberton
1 month ago

Thanks for the story about Jeffrey John. It reflects a fundamental truth about LGBTQ people and the church.

So few people in the church change their mind, or their beliefs, about such issues through theological debate. And so many change their minds due to meeting somebody, and learning their story, and reflecting on it.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
1 month ago

I never met Alan in person, but I was frequently in touch with him online. He had a God-given passion for justice, and was survivors’ only real supporter advocate among the bishops. HIs prophetic role will be badly missed in a church whose leaders are too often functionaries. We are all poorer without him – even those who tried to shut him up.

Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

I agree very much with all of the comments made BTL. In his last blog post from 2017 Dr Wilson remarked: “True collegiality can only be founded on the reality of the people involved, the truth that sets people free, missional and pastoral alignment, and mutual respect. It does not come from political gamesmanship, groupthink and manipulation. I think pretty much all the bishops know this, really. If we climbed down from various high horses, as clergy have had to do since the end of the great ages of deference, we would be better bishops, and our work would enable,… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Froghole, Bishop Alan wasn’t alone in moving away from blogging; there was a general decline of that medium as Facebook became more popular. Many of the people who used to write blogs now communicate through Facebook, X, and Instagram. The world has moved on.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Blogs such as Surviving Church, ViaMedia, and others are still important in raising and discussing issues. I read several most weeks. The last one I wrote got thousands of hits.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

I don’t disagree, Janet. I just think that (a) there are a fraction of the active blogs that there used to be, (b) there are very few new blogs, (c) most blogs that do well advertise each and every post on social media, and (d) if they allow comments on the blog as well as comments on social media, a lot of the commenting happens on social media.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

This site is a blog.
We advertise each post on X formerly Twitter and on Facebook.
A very few people leave comments on those social media sites, but to be honest the TA editors ignore them.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

Simon, what is the average age of our regular commenters? At a guess?

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Froghole thank you so much for reminding us of Bishop Alan’s blog posts. I had also thought about posting that extract about the role and work of bishops. How right he was. His last post followed the February 2017 GS debate, when the bishops’ ‘take note’ debate about human sexuality was voted out. He made two especially prophetic comments as what the next steps needed to be. I think it’s helpful to remind ourselves of two of them. Firstly: “reflect truly what actually happened in the shared conversations, instead of being heavily loaded towards doing nothing politely. A lifetime of… Read more »

Realist
Realist
1 month ago

I never met +Alan. I never corresponded with him. I don’t fit among those whose causes he advocated, and whose lives he made infinitely warmer, brighter and bearable by his humanity, humility, prophetic witness and intelligent, pastorally astute, inhabiting of his vocation. Yet I mourn his passing deeply. It is simply because in this appalling mess of a selfish, arrogant, uncaring, bigoted, abusive organisation that dares to still call itself a Church, and among the many spineless apparatchiks (and worse) who exercise what passes for authority and leadership within it, he shone as a beacon of hope. Not in an… Read more »

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