Revd John B Taylor

29 April 2020

We are sorry to hear of the death of the Revd John B Taylor. He was Senior Methodist Tutor and Tutor in Systematic Theology at Queen’s from 1979 -1988. He also served as Secretary of the Methodist Church Faith and Order Committee. Following his time at Queen’s, he became the General Secretary of the Methodist Church Division of Ministries, and then Chair of the Liverpool District. He served as President of the Methodist Conference in 1997-8.

Under a bluff exterior and wicked sense of humour was a heart of gold and a disposition that embodied loving kindness. He comforted and challenged people as appropriate, pushing them to fulfil their potential way beyond their expectations. He read regularly and prodigiously, and wanted everyone to do the same. He was a formidable systematic theologian, but always sought to root theological reflection in everyday life and experience. In 2018, he published a set of reflections entitled “Commonsense: the Musings of a Cloth-Cap Theologian” with the proceeds going towards cancer research in gratitude for the care he was receiving. The day before he died he wrote the following prayers:

Gracious God and Father of us all, whose will is that not one of his precious children should perish, help us to know that we are loved and to rejoice in the many blessings which you have prepared for us. Thank you for what we can learn even in difficult circumstances.

(Pause for silent reflection)

We thank you, Lord, that we have discovered what it feels like to be lonely and cut off. Thank you that we have gained insight into what solitary confinement in our prisons feels like and how our housebound auntie copes when we never visit her.

(Pause for silent reflection)

Forgive us that in the midst of plenty we hoard food and act as if tomorrow depends on it. Help us to recognise that there is sufficient for all, that in the midst of grain mountains and wine lakes we still sit in a land of plenty and that such emergency reserves are there for use today. Help us, Lord, to make the needs of the poorest our priority.

(Pause for silent reflection)

We live in warm and confortable homes, safe and secure. We pray for those who live in cardboard boxes. Help us to remember them and to unlock the means for them to return to significant relationships.

(Pause for silent reflection)

We pray, gracious, living God, when we are lost and disorientated that we may each find you walking at our side, our Companion and our Guide.

We pray through our Intercessor who sits at your right hand, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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