by Doug Wills, chairman of London Press Club
David has been a central figure at every media occasion of significance since he became Rector of St Bride’s in 2000, and then as Archdeacon of London since 2009. David has now announced his retirement.
Murdoch Maclennan, Telegraph Group chief executive, sums up all our thoughts about David when he says: “David is right at the heart of our industry in so many ways. Always approachable, always understanding, he is a great champion of a free press, and of the well-being and safety of all our journalists. He has maintained St Bride’s as our spiritual home – even when our businesses have long since gone from Fleet Street. We thank him for everything he has done, and for the priceless gift of his friendship and spiritual leadership.”
All of us are in awe of David whether it is for officiating at moving memorial services … or entertaining guests at black tie dinners with poignant prose and graces.
Robin Esser, executive managing editor of the Daily Mail, says: “While David has not yet outshone Wordsworth as a poet, the fun and relevance of his rhyming Graces is proof of his good humour, his understanding of the industry he serves and his dedication to a free Press. His attributes as a Rector have been positively Saint like but he has always demonstrated a depth of humanity which has made him a treasured friend of many denizens of Fleet Street – including me! Oh boy shall we miss him.”
David began his ministry in Reading, became vicar of three Berkshire villages, and served as Rural Dean of Bradfield. He was appointed Rector of Buckingham in 1994 and then took up his position in “The Street”.
David and his wife Rosemary, who have four children and four grandchildren, will be moving to Oxfordshire. He is an honorary canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. He is chaplain to three City livery companies and numerous media organisations.
Yes, David’s retirement is another sad day for Fleet Street. We wish David well on a much-deserved retirement.
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