John Martin: an Obituary

John was born on 25th May 1932 and was married to Pat in 1953. They had five children (four boys and a girl, though sadly one of the boys died), sixteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with two more on the way. John was a great family man, and he and Pat celebrated their golden wedding last year.

Although John originally worked in Local Government, in due course, as a faithful Anglican, he decided to enter the Ministry. He was made Deacon in 1979 and priested in 1980, after which he spent seventeen years in faithful service to West Country congregations.

As with many others, he was appalled at the way the Church of England began to adopt increasingly “liberal” attitudes and practices. Determined to remain faithful to Christ and his teaching, he eventually felt that he had to leave the Church of England, and did so at the time when “women’s ordination” was accepted by General Synod. It was at this time that he moved to his retirement home at Mullion in his beloved Cornwall.

Initially, with many others, John joined the Traditional Church of England, but when that body refused to accept the authority of Archbishop Falk he, together with a small handful of other priests and congregations, insisted on remaining faithful to the Archbishop. Archbishop Falk appointed him as Vicar General to this small group, which was eventually to become “The Traditional Anglican Church”.

These were difficult times for the infant TTAC and it was largely through the patience, tact and perseverance that John displayed that eventually a Constitution for the new Church was agreed and accepted unanimously, and then TTAC was accepted as a full member of the Traditional Anglican Communion. Meanwhile, new congregations were joining, and the Church was gradually becoming more and more established in England.

When John retired from the position of Vicar General in 1999, TTAC was still relatively small, but it was now firmly established and could look to the future with confidence. In many ways it would be fair to say that John was the father of TTAC.

But it is not as an authority figure that people will remember him, but rather as a friend. A man of remarkable kindness and patience, he always had time for everyone, was a source of reconciliation in times of dispute, and a bringer of happiness in times of peace. He will be greatly missed.