Thursday, 7 November 2013

Remembering Canon Redford RIP

In 1976-77, I spent a year at Wonersh and had the benefit of Fr (later Canon) John Redford's course on the psalms which was sensibly given to the first year to help them to gain spiritual fruit from the recitation of the Divine Office. He also ran an optional class in Hebrew which I took, and for which I have always been grateful.

Canon Redford was a convert from evangelical Anglicanism. He loved to tell the story of coming home from one of Billy Graham's crusade meetings in London with thousands of eager Christians pouring into the tube station. The platform attendant shouted "Alleluia! Mind the doors!" He had a lively sense of humour and, as a man with some distinct mannerisms, was the butt of jokes from the students which he always took in good part.

His firm and outspoken orthodoxy was not universally welcomed in the 1970s but his expertise in the scriptures could not but be respected. He has helped many students over the years to find their way out of the confusion of reductive biblical criticism and to love the word of God.

He is best known for his twenty-five years at Maryvale where was an integral part of that institution's provision of excellent Catholic further education for students from across the country. He died yesterday, 6 November 2013, on the morning of Maryvale's Graduation Ceremony (at which, among others, Auntie Joanna received her degree.)

May he receive the reward of his labours and rest in peace.
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