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The Reverend Canon Lord Pilkington of Oxenford

2011 February 17
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by Gordon Reid

What a title! Yet beneath it was just Father Peter, a loveable, if sometimes irascible, priest.

Peter and I occupied the two little apartments in the Presbytery of St Mary’s, Bourne St, which had once been where the two curates lived. I was there because I had just been appointed Vicar-General of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe (no small title in itself!), and the Diocese was looking for a ┬ánew house for me. Peter was there because he had retired from some distinguished headmasterships and had been made a Peer of the Realm by the conservative Government, and then their spokesman on education in the House of Lords.

For both of us it was a privilege to be part of the life of St Mary’s under the gentle leadership of Fr Bill Scott. Fr Bill is now The Reverend Prebendary William Scott, Domestic Chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Deputy Clerk of the Closet, Sub-Almoner, and Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal.

Pilkers and I could never beat that!

I said a Requiem Mass for him yesterday, and the only member of the congregation was the Bishop of Pennsylvania; Peter would like that!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. ambly permalink
    February 18, 2011

    Yea a most amusing priest. He’ll be missed on Graham Street.

  2. Timothy L'Estrange permalink
    March 19, 2011

    Many years ago, long before my priestly vocation surfaced, I was at a teacher training college, and found myself for two terms a student member of Lord Pilkington’s Common Room. It was a great pleasure to talk to him, and to eat mid-afternoon rock cakes with him. He ran a tight but happy ship. May he rest in peace.

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