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Dr Mervyn Davies 1940-2014

13 May 2014

Dr Mervyn Davies 1940-2014

The Department of Religion and Theology are sad to announce that Dr Mervyn Davies, who taught part time in the department for a number of years, died on Tuesday 6th May 2014; at home as he wished. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.

Mervyn had a long and distinguished career in education for which he was honoured by the Roman Catholic Church in 2007 with the insignia  “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice”.  Mervyn will be personally remembered by staff and students as an able, efficient, friendly, inspiring and encouraging colleague and teacher.  His great love of the work of John Henry Newman was infectious.

When he left school, Mervyn spent some time testing his vocation as a Dominican. This was not for him, although his love of St Thomas remained. He then studied for a BA(Hons) in Philosophy and Theology at Leeds University, and shortly afterwards  he began his teaching career as Head of Religious Studies at Bishop Bright school in Leamington Spa.  He married Sheila during this time and together they had three sons, Matthew, Thomas and William, of whom he was immensely proud.  In 1970 he was awarded an M. Phil from Leeds on the doctrine of justification.  He undertook a PhD at Birmingham University entitled “Newman’s Theology of the Christian Life”. 

Mervyn also held the post of Principal at the newly created St Brendan’s 6th Form College.   After ten years there, he took his first “retirement”.   He began his association with clergy formation, firstly on the WEMTC programme and then as Director of Programmes at Wesley College.   It was during this time that he met and later married his second wife, Wendy Allen. Wendy gained a doctorate from this Department on the work of Newman. He served as Chairman of the steering group for Sarum College in Salisbury and later as Scholar in Residence there.  He began his association with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, as a lecturer and doctoral supervisor.  He worked in the latter capacity right up to his death. He also worked with the Diocese of Bath and Wells post-ordination programme, and with ASCL as a consultant to schools and head teachers. 

There will be a memorial service at Clifton Cathedral on Saturday 11th October at 2pm for his many professional friends and colleagues and former pupils to be able honour Mervyn.   For those who are travelling from a distance, there will be a light lunch in the Apostle Room from 1pm.  Please email drwendyallen@virginmedia.com if you are intending to come to the service and let her know if you wish to join us for lunch. For those who wish, there will be an opportunity to make donations in memory of Mervyn to be shared between the BHOC Golden Gift Appeal and St Peter’s Hospice.

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