Monday, April 27, 2009

From The Rev'd Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden

Peter meant a very good deal to me - and to many of those he taught.

We immediately recognised him as an individual thinker of considerable authenticity and standing.

He was both a source of inspiration and also of liberation to us as we tried to offer our minds as well as our hearts to our dear Lord.

Peter opened so many windows for us. He inculcated an attitude that was at one and the same time wholly reverential, and also unafraid to look for that angle of integrity. He encouraged us to think, and explore, to dismantle and rebuild, but unlike so many intellectuals, this was nothing to do with the ego, and everything to do with service for the kingdom and the Gospel.

We recognised how much he knew - and how far he had travelled. We became unafraid to flex our intellectual muscles since Peter set us an example of how that could be done in a way that was thoroughly Godly, faithful and constructive.

In the last few years, Peter's was the voice I looked to for a proper and dependable interpretation of what was happening in the American Church.

My loss will be nothing compared to yours, but I feel it keenly nonetheless.

A world that lacks Peter, lacks an element of intelligent compassionate insight it can ill afford to lose.

A Church that lacks Peter, is so much the poorer for he takes his integrity with him, and there is too little left behind.

He was generous in the way he honoured us with his friendship, and I am profoundly grateful and blessed for having known him, and been trained to serve our Lord's Church by him.

"All shall be amen and alleuluia.
There we shall rest and we shall see;
we shall see and we shall love;
we shall love and we shall praise.
Behold what shall be in the End and shall not end."

St Augustine of Hippo.

The Rev'd Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden,

Chaplain and Lecturer in Humanities,
The University of Sussex.

Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen

1 comment:

CB in Ca said...

I share the sense of your loss, which, if truth were known, is a grievous loss to the whole church catholic. Dr. Toon was a cvonstant defender of both the theology and worship of the English Reformation. He will be missed. Charles L. Baker