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

The Revd Dr John Stacey, who died Tuesday August10th, aged 84, was an inspirational preacher who wasinstrumental in encouraging Methodist people, and especiallyMethodist preachers, to think through their theology in newways.

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

John was a passionate socialist and a lifelong member of theLabour Party. This fed into his sermons which, always rooted inpeople s everyday concerns, were marked by their incredible clarityand strength of conviction.He nurtured many writers as editor ofthe Epworth Review, and wrote a number of books himself. One inparticular, Groundwork of Theology, was used as a sourceof inspiration for generations of local preachers.

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

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

John had a huge number of friends and away from the church hewas a member of the MCC, a keen walker, and a jazz enthusiast. Heis survived by his wife Betty, his four children, and tengrandchildren.

Revd Dr John Stacey s funeral will take place at Hinde StreetMethodist Church, Marylebone, London, W1 on Thursday August19th at 2pm.