Obituaries (2016-17)


Obituaries or extra information is posted here (click on the name to jump to the one you want to read): Note – some are in the process of editing before being added; other contributions should be sent to

Peter William Cannings TSSF 1948-2017

‘He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.’ John 5.35

On Monday October 2nd, nearly 400 people, representing various churches, attended the parish church in Uppingham, where he had lived for 40 years, to celebrate the faith and life of Peter Cannings. I had known this gifted, outgoing man, so courageous and faithful in his last illness, quite well for nine years but I had only until then a restrictive notion of the sheer breadth of his activity and commitment. Devoutly, generously Christian, Peter and his wife, Jill, both Anglican Licensed Readers, ministered in churches across a wide area. In his last year, typically, he had scripted a play to commemorate the bicentenary of Uppingham Methodist Church and this was performed in the town, a few weeks after his funeral.

Peter was admired and loved as a schoolmaster/housemaster and latterly as a ‘self-starter’ businessman. He was a practical man of action on a variety of fronts and, much travelled, he had a passion for social justice and a heart for the relief of the world’s poorest people, notably in South Africa and Palestine. Not long after his TSSF Profession, Peter joined the charity, Franciscan Aid and soon became a highly active chairman and energetic country-wide advocate of its work.

Long ago Peter had been inspired by meeting First Order brothers at Hilfield in his youth. When, some 35 years later, a professed Tertiary introduced him to TSSF, Peter engaged immediately, as if meeting a long-lost relation. In his ensuing, explicitly Franciscan life, relatively brief as it was, he was inspirational. He was no stranger to life-threatening illness but never defeated in spirit and the cancer which struck in his final years was in retreat until its sudden, virulent, incurable return in his last weeks. Peter died peacefully with Jill at his side on 11 September 2017. They had just begun a quiet sharing of Evening Prayer.

The life that is freely given is eternal. He was a burning and shining lamp.

Andrew Rayment, TSSF Northampton Area Minister.

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Patricia (Patsy) Linton RIP

Patsy Linton, a tertiary for over 50 years, died on 7 February 2017 aged 90. An outspoken, some might say blunt lady, Patsy didn’t mince words and didn’t suffer fools gladly. But she was kindness itself and was, towards the end of her life when she couldn’t get out and about, always delighted to receive visitors – particularly members of the Third Order.

Patsy was the archetypal vicar’s wife – hardworking, loyal support and helpmate. She was a staunch member of the Mothers’ Union, having been a member since 1949. She was a most generous hostess and could always find a bed and a bite to eat for anyone who turned up at the vicarage – especially fellow tertiaries. Right to the end of her life Patsy hosted the meetings of the Hexham Small Group and there was always cake and scones – freshly baked. The Small Group recently met for the first time since her death and everyone contributed a thought for this Obituary – her smile, her wit, her stubbornness, her very private nature – she was a linguist able to speak several languages including Swedish, German, French and Danish – the list could go on.

Patsy’s funeral took place at Hexham Abbey and was attended by many members of the Newcastle Area Third Order. She had planned the service herself and it very much reflected her character and her spirituality. The hymns speak of her commitment and her steadfast faith – “O thou who camest from above”, “Firmly I believe and truly” and that great Easter hymn “Jesus lives, thy terrors now can no longer death appal us” Her grandson Tom read from Revelations 21 and the Rector of Hexham, Canon Dagmar Winter gave the address.

In her address Canon Winter spoke of a time several years ago when she was curate at Hexham, living a few doors down from Patsy, now in retirement with her husband Joe. Patsy was for many years very outspoken against the ordination of women – so how would she take to the ministry of this young female curate? Not easily at first – but Dagmar revealed that one day a note from Patsy was pushed through her letterbox which said simply “I’ve changed my mind”. At the end of her life Patsy was anointed by Dagmar; it was Dagmar who conducted her funeral and it was Dagmar who laid her finally to rest in the churchyard at Beltingham where Joe her late husband had been vicar for more than 30 years. Her headstone will bear the simple inscription – Patricia Linton, tssf.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

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