Monday, 23 August 2010
Bishop Mervyn Alexander RIP
Returning to England he was appointed assistant priest in the Cathedral parish, Clifton, Bristol, where he served from 1951 to l964. He acted as Chaplain to the Bristol Maternity and Homeopathic Hospitals. He also became part-time Chaplain to the University of Bristol in 1953 and was appointed full-time Chaplain in 1964. During this time he opened the University Catholic Chaplaincy on Queens Road as a study and residential centre for students. The Chaplaincy continues to serve students today.
In February 2001 Bishop Mervyn was recognised by the University of Bristol for his contribution to the life of the city and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws. The commendation speech was given by the then Bishop of Bristol Right Reverend Barry Rogerson.
The Bishop of Clifton, the Rt Rev Declan Lang, paid this tribute to Bishop Mervyn Alexander:
“I would like to pay tribute to a good and holy man who welcomed me with friendship when I was appointed as his successor. At the heart of Bishop Mervyn’s ministry was the model of the Good Shepherd who both knew and lay down his life for those he was called to serve.
“In his years as Bishop of Clifton, Bishop Mervyn guided the diocese through many changes and developments which originated from the Second Vatican Council. There were joys and tensions but in all of this Bishop Mervyn remained a loving pastor who had a deep love for God and people. He was intellectually gifted but was very unassuming about this. He also had a great sense of humour which helped everyone put things into perspective. That humour was appreciated by his fellow bishops who regarded him with great respect and affection.