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Death announced of the Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham

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.”

Bishop Alan served as Bishop of Buckingham for over 20 years. His entire ordained ministry was within the Diocese of Oxford as a curate in Eynsham, Vicar in Caversham and Sandhurst, Area Dean in Sonning and then Bishop of Buckingham.

Prayers were said for Bishop Alan and his family during tonight’s evensong service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. Arrangements for further acts of remembrance will be announced in due course.

The Archdeacon of Buckingham, the Ven Guy Elsmore, who worked closely with Bishop Alan, said: “On behalf of the Bucks Area Team, my deepest sympathies to Lucy and the family at this time of shock and loss.

“Along with Alan’s other colleagues and the clergy and lay people of Buckinghamshire, I am deeply saddened by this unexpected news. 

“We have lost a courageous, wise and exceptional pastoral leader and teacher. Alan’s ministry was centred in people, in valuing every person he met and in the quest to expand the circle of the Church’s love to embrace all. He will be deeply missed by us all.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, said: “Bishop Alan was never afraid to stand up for those on the margins, those that felt they were being ignored by the church. He was a man of prophetic spirit, reaching out where he saw injustice and speaking up where he witnessed the abuse of power.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of his death today. He was approaching retirement and the sudden loss will be a shock to his family, the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church. He leaves behind a huge gap and an important legacy. We have much to learn from his life and his courage.

“In our pain, it is Jesus that draws near and mourns with us. I hold Bishop Alan’s whole family, especially Lucy, in my prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Bishop Steven commends the following prayer for use across the diocese on Sunday:

Loving God,
Friend of the broken, the outcast and the hurting
Receive into your tender care our friend and brother Alan.
We give thanks for your abundant grace in his life and ministry.
We entrust Lucy, his family, friends and colleagues to your steadfast love.
We pray especially for the clergy and parishes of the Buckingham area as they grieve their faithful pastor, friend and shepherd.
We pray for all who mourn. 
Kindle in us afresh the hope of rest in Christ and resurrection to new and eternal life
May Alan, your servant, rest in peace and rise in glory
Through Christ our Lord we pray

About Bishop Alan

Bishop Alan trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall (Cert. Theol. 1979). He was ordained deacon (1979 at St Peter’s, Didcot), priest (1980 at Christ Church, Oxford), and bishop (2003 at Westminster Abbey).

Alan has served in the Diocese of Oxford since 1979, at Balliol College from 1979-81 and non-stipendiary minister at Eynsham, then as curate of Caversham and Mapledurham (1982-89), and first incumbent of St John the Baptist, Caversham, from 1989-92. Moving to Sandhurst as rector in 1992, he contributed to continuing ministerial education by developing residential training workshops in supervision skills for training incumbents, and as a diocesan work consultant.

He led the planning group for the Diocesan Convention at High Wycombe in 2002. He was area dean of Sonning from 1998-2003 and honorary Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, from 2002-3. In October 2003, he became Area Bishop of Buckingham.

Bishop Alan was also Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.

Bishop Alan is survived by his wife Lucy, and five adult children Catherine, Stephanie, Stewart, Nick and Anna.

Page last updated: Tuesday 20th February 2024 3:54 PM
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