12 August 2004

Revd Dr John Stacey, thinker and preacher, dies aged 84

The Revd Dr John Stacey, who died Tuesday August 10th, aged 84, was an inspirational preacher who was instrumental in encouraging Methodist people, and especially Methodist preachers, to think through their theology in new ways.

After twenty-five years of circuit ministry, John became General Secretary of the Local Preachers department in 1967. Following the Church restructuring of 1974, he continued his role as Local Preachers Secretary in the Division of Ministries until his retirement in 1985.

John was a passionate socialist and a lifelong member of the Labour Party. This fed into his sermons which, always rooted in people s everyday concerns, were marked by their incredible clarity and strength of conviction.He nurtured many writers as editor of the Epworth Review, and wrote a number of books himself. One in particular, Groundwork of Theology, was used as a source of inspiration for generations of local preachers.

Judy Jarvis, Ex Vice-President of Conference, remembers: In the opening remarks of my Vice-Presidential address last year I noted what an honour it was to have my friend and mentor, John Stacey, there to listen. At that point, everyone in the Conference hall broke out in applause. It was a moving moment and a fitting tribute to a man whose contribution to the life of The Methodist Church was immense .

John was a convinced ecumenist. He was involved in the conversations with the Church of England during the 1970s, and for many years served on the British Roman Catholic/Methodist Committee. The signing of the Anglican-Methodist covenant last year was a great thrill for him.

John had a huge number of friends and away from the church he was a member of the MCC, a keen walker, and a jazz enthusiast. He is survived by his wife Betty, his four children, and ten grandchildren.

Revd Dr John Stacey s funeral will take place at Hinde Street Methodist Church, Marylebone, London, W1 on Thursday August 19th at 2pm.

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