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OBITUARY: Canon L Roy Barker.

ROY BARKER conducted a remarkable ministry which transformed a quiet, traditional Wirral church into a powerhouse of Christan resource, acclaimed throughout the Anglican world.

He turned down the first invitation to become vicar of St Mary's, Upton. He was happy at St Luke's, St Helens, and had formed some off-putting impressions of Wirral. Then he accepted and arrived, in 1962, at a church ``more preoccupied with finding enough money to pay the bills than winning people for Christ''.

Roy Barker brought bundles of initiatives. . . new forms of worship, big-name guest services and crusades. He took chances, like asking men on the way to work to pop in for a 7. 15 am breakfast to hear a guest speaker.

And declaring that Christian giving was a privilege not an act of stingy charity.

An infectious, expectant and unwavering faith underpinned all his activities and won him support and deep affection.

Congregations multiplied. Extra services were introduced and a daughter outpost established at Saughall Massie. Still the numbers grew. By 1975 the St Mary's reputation for lively, caring evangelism had attracted so many that a major extension of the church building became a a priority.

Roy Barker worked ceaselessly, not least in requiring himself and his curates to call regularly at homes throughout the parish. And by the time he left Upton in 1980, he had preached 1, 176 times and taken 526 baptisms, 287 weddings and 234 funerals.

Born in Macclesfield, Roy Barker attended King's School there and Selwyn College, Cambridge. During the war, he rose to captain in the Royal Artillery before entering Ridley Hall theological college, Cambridge. He was ordained in 1951.

He left Upton to become Director of Pastoral Studies at Ridley Hall and in 1984 returned to the North West as Residentiary Canon, Chester Cathedral and Diocesan Director of Ordinands. After retirement in 1990, he continued his association as Cathedral Librarian.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and their children, Andrew and Rachel. The funeral sevice will be at Chester Cathedral at noon on Monday, November 1.

Canon L Roy Barker Born June 21, 1924; died October 21, 2004
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 28, 2004
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