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/ 23 July 2014

Bishop Donald Arden RIP

Bishop Donald Arden died last Friday (18 July) at the age of 98.

Bishop Donald was a former Bishop of Malawi and Archbishop of Central Africa and one of our Willesden Area clergy for many years, serving as Priest in Charge of St Margaret’s Uxbridge from 1981 to 1986, and then as SSM Curate at St Alban North Harrow from 1986 to 2011.

He was also Honorary Assistant Bishop in London from 1994 to 2011.

He retired to Romsey in March 2011 and was a regular worshipper at Romsey Abbey. 

Thoroughly committed to justice issues and to ALMA and his beloved Africa, Donald was a wonderful irritant for the Kingdom. A major achievement was his part in the indigenisation of African episcopacy.

Jane, his widow, writes that over the past few months Donald had become increasingly frustrated at not being able to speak and especially so in the last couple of weeks. It is, she says, "a real answer to prayer that he didn’t suffer for long and died at home". Please hold Jane and Donald’s family in your prayers.

A family-only cremation has been arranged for 11.30 on Thursday 31 July. Donald will be cremated in a banana leaf coffin, which is just what he would have chosen. A Service of Thanksgiving will be held in Romsey Abbey at 2.30 on Saturday 20 September. Any clergy or readers/LLMs wishing to attend are invited to robe.

Image: Bishop Donald and his wife, Jane, at the celebration of his 50th anniversary as a bishop, in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2011.

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