The funeral service will be held at 11am on 7th May at Mortlake Crematorium.
As capacity is limited, attendance is by invitation only, however the service will be webcast live and details of how to access this are provided below, along with directions for those who are attending in person.
WATCH THE LIVE WEBCAST ON THE DAY
Here are details of how to access the webcast of the funeral service live, starting at 11am this Friday:
WEBCAST VIA WESLEY:
- Click the button above to open the webcast page in a new tab
- Enter your Webcast Login details which are as follows:
- The Order ID: 94105
- Password: gwybuhds
- Click the Login button
Once the stream has begun the video will load automatically.
Tips and troubleshooting
If you go to https://wesleymedia.co.uk/webcast now you can see an example webcast so you can test that you are able to see and hear it.
If by the designated start time the video is still not visible we advise that you periodically refresh this page (this can be achieved by pressing Ctrl and F5 together).
For any technical issues on the day, you can call the Wesley team on 01536 314 914.
HOW TO GET THERE IF ATTENDING
Kew Meadow Path
Turn into Townmead Road off the A205 Mortlake Road. At the mini-roundabout, turn right into Kew Meadow Path. Go through the gates and park in the car park on the left hand side.
The crematorium building will be in front of you, if you walk under the left archway, there is a Waiting Room on the right hand corner and loos are on the left hand side. The ladies are in the small waiting area on the left, the gents doorway is a little further along from this room.
We will be looking out for you and will come to gather you all at the required time.
After the service we will lead you out to one of the small memorial gardens where you can stay and chat for a while.
Graham was born in London in 1944, his childhood was spent at Epsom and Walton on the Hill, Surrey. Prep school years in Hove weren’t the happiest years of his life, at some point he was found suffering from malnutrition, one of the few things he could commend later was the school’s headmaster assertiveness in engaging the small children’s interest in religion – life changed for the better when he went to Rugby school, despite the regime of cold showers and his dislike of ball games, he became Head Boy.
In 1962 Graham gained admission to Worcester College Oxford, where he read history – Graham like many of his contemporaries were greatly influenced by their tutor, the historian James Campbell renowned authority on Medieval and Anglo-Saxon history. Graham continued theological studies at Ripton College Cuddesdon Oxford where he was ordained.
He was awarded a scholarship by Princeton University USA, after which he spent 3 months travelling through America at night in greyhound buses, he was accompanied by his Oxford tutor James Campbell for part of the journey.
His working life began as Clerk in holy orders in suburban and rural parishes as well as Oxford, this put him in touch with a wide spectrum of society; he was well known for his cheerful approach, his ability to listen and empathise with his parishioners, for his intellect and humanity and for his rich voice and clear diction.
In 1969 he became assistant curate at Christ Church Esher and Holy Trinity Claygate, Surrey a well-off enclave in suburban London; in 1973 he was appointed Rector of Winford Somerset in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, a rural community. In 1978 Graham became the chaplain and fellow of Exeter college Oxford in 1978 a post he held for 7 years, in 1987 he became Rector at Farnborough village, in the diocese of Rochester Kent where he was an inspiring preacher and electoral role numbers increased considerably. This post he held for 7 years after retiring in 1995.
In the 1980’s two of his theologian treaties were published “The Cost of Authority” 1983, “God in our hands” 1987. In 1996 following his interest in Don Cupitt’s Sea of Faith he contributed to a collection of essays to the publication “God and Reality”
Graham met Jorge in 1993, who then lived in Richmond – he started to attend Richmond’s Friends Meeting House and became a Quaker in 1995. He became what is known as an “Angliquaker”
After a 2-week holiday in South west France in 2002 and despite his better judgement Graham was smitten by the property itch – the result was a compact village house in Montlaur, Aveyron, which became one of his favourite places for country walking, reading, and writing – sharing a wilful neighbour’s beagle made it all even better!
The area was enriched by the arrival of some very good friends and by getting to know some locals as well as by other nationalities who would arrive in summertime, this led to a very active and interesting social life – there were several meals at fresco where Graham as described by one of our friends would often “take off” into a dissertation into a historical event or person and would hold the guests silent for minutes on end – his mind sharp as a razor, his memory astonishingly accurate for the relevant points.
Graham was a seasoned traveller with a very well-trained eye for architecture, sculpture, and painting – his knowledge of European church architecture knew no bounds, often he was mistaken by an Art historian. Graham’s greatest love was the Romanesque.
Graham found spiritual solace at a nearby abbey Sylvanes, which was then run by an enlightened liberal and charismatic Dominican priest who attracted people from all walks of life. The Abbey was well known in not only in the region but also in France for the quality of its liturgy and its music and became well known internationally for its annual sacred music festival. Graham became part of the congregation.
In 2006 we downsized and relocated to an apartment at the Albany in Kingston Upon Thames, in very tranquil and beautiful location by the river Thames, within easy access of many open spaces and parks – he loved the peace and quiet of the locality, and the congenial community. He used to say that he was privileged to live in the two most beautiful places in his life: Montlaur and the Albany.
Graham spent many an hour at the British Library where he was a member, reading was his passion for both fiction and non-fiction.
Luckily, the apartment proved to be the right refuge once his health started to deteriorate, he kept active to the end and never complained, despite not looking well towards the end, our neighbours commented on his cheerful disposition.
The last six days of his life he was privileged to have been admitted to the Princess Alice Hospice Esher where he received care second to none in the most beautiful and peaceful environment.
As per his wishes all donations are to be made to The Princess Alice Hospice.
Graham is outlived by his partner Jorge Toro.
30 April 2021
“Death is nothing.
It is just having moved to the other side.
I am still what I am and you are still what you are.
What we used to be for each other is still the same.
Call me by the name you used to.
And talk to me as you have done before.
Do not use a different tone.
Do not be rigid or sad.
Continue to laugh about what used to make us laugh.
Pray for me.
Think of me and pray with me.
Let my name be mentioned at home as before.
Without any exaggeration or distress.
Life continues to mean what it always did.
And it is still the same
The thread did not break.
Do you feel I have become outside of your thoughts
Because I am far from your sight?
I am not far from you.
I am just on the other side of the road,
And everything is fine.
You will find my heart and my love pure.
Wipe your tears and do not cry.
If you love me.”
Excerpt from “Love never disappears “
Augustine of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa
Graham was a man of a sunny disposition, at least when we met in the Aveyron that was his way. We had great discussions about Brexit and the North(of Ireland) and historical events and I truly believe we enjoyed them.
So , Graham , I will miss you so much and hope you are at peace
“The life we are to have is one we only glimpse now and again as we struggle free (usually only to a degree and for a short time) from a de facto position to one that hints of a mutual indwelling. Our present life is one where we begin to learn what it is to be limited, to be isolated and to yearn to be bound to others. This life is to be seen as being transformed by another seeping in… ”
A passage highlighted by Graham in “Finding our Father” by Diogenes Allen, a book he lent me years ago which had a great impact on me. Thank you for the warmth of our long talks, for those flickers of indwelling, for your unique combination of eagerness and poise, for your love of laughter, your kindly stoop and your molten eyes. We shall remember you well.
Graham I will never forget you for being such a great friend but also for your knowledge, humanity and generosity.
You helped me to find peace in one of the most difficult moments of my life and always the generous friend ready to help.
Goodbye my friend. you will always be close to my heart.
Rest in peace
What a privilege to have known you! I’m going to miss you so much.
Graham was chaplain for the whole time that I was at Exeter College. He prepared me for confirmation and was a trusted confidante to many. He attended and officiated at my wedding and I am sure he did this for many others. Aside from his pastoral role, many will remember his politically incorrect sherry and delicious biscuits served with undrinkably weak tea – one leaf or two ? . Rest in Peace , Graham
We can’t count the pleasure we have had from our friendship with Graham and Jorge since they welcomed us to their commune in Aveyron in the early 2000s. Despite the profound loss we all feel at Graham’s death, it’s impossible not to think of him with an inner smile. He was serious and playful, authoritative and questioning, learned and curious, lofty and funny, conservative and liberal, cultured and democratic, English and international, academic and lucid, private and open, eloquent and attentive, solitary and gregarious, institutional and sceptical, passionate and stoical, believing and humane, wise and humble. In Graham, these did not appear as contradictions, but as marks of a true breadth of character, always finely complemented by Jorge’s inimitable qualities of energy and enthusiasm. Graham was a rare example in life and he was better prepared for death than most people. We will miss him and we won’t forget him.
Peter and Deborah Jackson
It was wonderful having Graham as a neighbor in Montlaur for so many years. Graham played a great role in the raising of my son Sebastian and was instrumental in his getting into Wellington. Our greatest contribution to Graham was undoubtedly the beagle-share. His greatest contribution to us was his wisdom and kindness. We will miss him terribly as will the people of the village who knew him.
In the few years of our knowing Graham, he made a huge impression on us – his mischievous sense of humour, acute perception, original take on every subject under the sun, and his ability to keep a supper table hanging on his every wise word. A remarkable man. It was a privilege and delight to spend time in his company. We cherish our still vivid memories of him.
Tom & Coco
I knew Graham when I was an English Fellow at Exeter College. He was wise and witty and good company. I remember him with affection and admiration for his patience and insight. I became sub-rector in 1983, responsible for student welfare, and he was an invaluable source of advice. May he rest in peace.
Graham was a dear friend who was devoted to Jorge, as Jorge was to Graham. Ian and I will miss his insights, excellent knowledge, intellectual challenges and his indomitable spirit. Graham was a beacon of generosity and clarity in a rather opaque and selfish world. We shall miss him enormously and treasure our having known him.
I met Graham at Rugby School, where I was 2 years ahead of him. I formed the impression of a young man rather troubled, on account of a somewhat unconventional early family life, due to the social and domestic upheavals not uncommon in wartime. Yet he subsequently made his mark sufficiently to attain the prestigious position of Head of School – the more impressive in view of his lack of ability or indeed interest in ball games, both being normally expected in holders of that post. I imagine that his intellectual attainment combined with an air of quiet and approachable authority, both evident in his later life, carried the day.
After Rugby our paths diverged, and we met but occasionally. He was a welcome visitor during my early married life; my 3 children, all toddlers, were seriously impressed by his, from their viewpoint, towering yet willowy figure. We arranged to meet at the occasional discussion of ecclesiastical history, where Graham displayed both his erudition and his sociable nature. His conversation was likely to be fluent, entertaining, and occasionally waspish, not least about the upper hierarchy of the Anglican Church; that readiness to criticise authority comes out in a serious, scholarly, and I suspect deeply personal way in his book “The Cost of Authority”. Later, when my own family life was troubled, Graham provided temporary sanctuary and a calm listening ear. When I subsequently thanked him for his support, he commented that he was just glad not to have made things worse. At first I felt this revealed a surprisingly limited ambition, or self-confidence, for one presumed to be very experienced in a counselling role; now I think it may reveal not just a personal humility but, more importantly, a sobering yet realistic recognition of the fragility of the individual psyche and the limited power of any attempted intervention to help it. The injunction “first, do no harm” comes to mind.
I did not know the detail of Graham’s religious career, nor much of his life with Jorge, stays in France and travels there and beyond; but what were evident throughout were his erudition and his wide, inveterate reading. Our contacts became more frequent when he became ill. In one quite recent one he reminded me that from his earliest years he had always “got” religion, just as others may “get” music or dance; accordingly he approached his impending death with calm and confidence. In that confidence, as we mourn his loss and celebrate his life and what he meant to us, may he rest in peace.
Graham, you have always been a wonderful, enriching, affectionate and stable presence in my life. You are missed….until we meet again xx
When moving house recently I came across notes I had taken from Graham’s confirmation classes some 30 years ago.
I remember those Saturday afternoons not just for the notes but for Graham’s warm friendship, humility and humour. Despite the challenges of both distance and time, Graham has faithfully kept in touch and although we met again all too rarely, I have treasured his continuing friendship and encouragement in all things.
As Exeter College chaplain, Graham was also my tutor in Theology and Church History. I well remember the regular pleasure / ordeal of reading out that week’s essay to such a formidable (though kindly) critic, who could convey a great deal of intellectual pain with just an elevated eyebrow! Graham’s wisdom and support were especially valued during my Final exams.
I had the privilege of speaking with Graham six weeks before his passing, when I was moved and inspired – not only by his personal bravery, but also how much he was consoled and strengthened by his Christian faith.
Graham had a kind of gentle coherence that made us feel happy and peaceful. Perhaps this came from his deep faith, a “resting easy” in oneself. It was our great good fortune to spend time in the always excellent company of Graham and Jorge: first in the Aveyron, and then traveling together, the four of us, to Budapest. Three in search of music, inside a concert hall for days on end; and one free to wander the city in serenity. It was a privilege to know him, and it will always be a pleasure and a joy to remember him. These beautiful, ancient words come to mind, called up by gratitude, as we say farewell to Graham: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” We cannot understand the deep mystery of life, but we do understand that we are blessed to have shared some part of it with Graham.
Sally and Flemming Aggergaard
Dear Graham we will miss you very much.
Matt and I really loved our summers in Verrieres with you and Jorge. Your conversation and insight was always exceptional into whatever predicament was at the forefront at the time! Always had a beautiful bit of history or prose, or experience to add depth to the situation. We were so grateful that you were able to be the celebrant at our wedding blessing in France. That summer is such a vivid memory for me, us all in happy times with the sun shining. We disagreed about politics and other issues but always in good humour and you taught me a lot about how to be a decent person. Soft and gentle but also resolute in your opinions. Even up until the end (only about 6 weeks ago) you were able to email me which was just lovely. I know that you were looked after so well in your last days so that gives great comfort. Wishing you peace now.
Love Grace + Matt
I knew Graham when I was an undergraduate at Exeter College, and he also prepared me for confirmation. He was tremendously intellectually stimulating, but equally kind, thoughtful, and pastorally sensitive and supportive. I am really grateful to him.
When I think of Graham it is less of his undoubted erudition, more of the fun that he and Jorge gave to my years in the neighbouring village of Martin. A wonderful meal at a hotel to celebrate my birthday, followed by a guided tour, with Graham as guide, round a nearby monastery; a concert at Sylvanes preceded by a merry picnic in the grounds; dinner at their house in Montlaur, a party at mine where Graham mixed easily with a somewhat eclectic bunch of guests, plumbers and builders and farmers. And at all times there was a gleam of enjoyment and amusement hovering behind his calm reflectiveness.
Friendship with Graham and Jorge was one of the great pleasures and privileges of my life in France. I shall remember Graham with huge affection and gratitude for all the good times we shared.
He was a truly loyal friend. I remember his thoughtful sermons in Claygate when I was a teenager. My family and I will always be grateful for his enduring love of my parents Adrian and Anne Carey with whom he kept up to their dying day. His faith sustained my mother after my father’s death and despite his illness he continued to reach out to her.
Rosemary de la Bedoyere
I have not met Graham but heard so much about him from Jorge and I was always impressed by his knowledge. May God bless you Graham, and may Jorge find comfort reading all these heart-warming tributes.
I remember your wonderful “aperos” at your house in Montlaur and the special and unique athmosphere there, food, talking and sincere friendship. All the Montlaur/Aveyron group will miss you so much!
We were introduced to Graham through Jorge and very dear mutual friends from South America. It was always a privilege to dine with him, as others have remarked he was the most erudite man we have ever met. Whatever the topic he always had an original insight and often was able to cite parallels from history. Political discussion was particularly stimulating; he was unashamedly conservative and searingly honest. But he was also intellectually kind and despite his superior knowledge was self deprecating and gentle. We enjoyed his company enormously and miss him. Last autumn with Jorge and Marie-Isabel and Clara organised a wonderful picnic in the grounds of Albany overlooking a sparkling Thames. It was a magical day. We felt very honoured to be included and despite his illness Graham was in good spirits and on good form, and that is the memory that will stay with us forever.
Anne & Robert Clark
We miss you dear friend Graham
Mariagrazia and Patrizio
Although it is 30 years since Graham’s time with us in Farnborough, he remains one of the most significant people in our lives. His intellect, humanity, sense of fun remain with us still. It was a joy to have known him. Our love and best wishes to you Jorge.
Shirley & Alex Henderson
What can we say of this kind, brilliant, talented loving friend of nearly 60 years?. He was a year ahead of John at Worcester College and although John and I were deeply embroiled in Oxford theatricals, we don’t think Graham was.
This all changed when he arrived as assistant curate at Christ Church parish in Esher, where my mother, Mary Henry lived. Once she saw a talent there was no escape for the gifted person and we saw Graham in Murder in the Cathedral, Penny for a Song and as a strong, strong Oberon in Midsummer Night’s dream, in a production that was infused with inspiration from the newly-arrived-on -the – English theatre scene Zefferelli. Graham needed to be strong to play opposite a VERY powerful Titania. He and my mother were close companions in many other non-theatrical parish ventures and were something special. He spoke about her at her funeral with such love and humour and compassion,
you have remained a true friend to the very end, Graham.
We were so lucky to have known you, so glad you had Jorge to care for you through these last hard years.
John and Frances
I met Graham in Esher and we played together in ‘Penny for a Song’ about the threat of Napoleonic invasion produced by my mother and written by John Whiting better known for the Devils. We had a scene where we played croquet which was made more exciting since Graham’s lack of physical co-ordination meant that I never knew where on the grass, it was an outdoor production, he and his ball would end up. He was a lovely man, friendly, generous and intelligent. How sad to lose him so early.