We are sorry to report that Canon Kenyon Wright has died.
Appointed as the Cathedral’s Director of Urban Ministry in 1970, Kenyon became Canon Residentiary and the first Director of International Ministry in 1974. It was Kenyon’s vision and energy that led to the setting up of the Community of the Cross of Nails. He returned to the land of his birth in 1981 as General Secretary of the Scottish Council of Churches. He was a long-time campaigner for Scottish devolution who served as executive chairman of the cross-party Scottish Constitutional Convention from 1989 to 1999.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she was “deeply saddened” by the news. “His input to the creation of the Scottish Parliament cannot be overstated,” she said. “His chairmanship of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, which led to the creation of the Scottish Parliament, was testament to his strength of character, tenacity and charisma. He was able to bring together the different strands of Scottish politics and society to achieve consensus about the way ahead for Scottish devolution. His legacy will live on through the work of the Scottish Parliament.”
The Dean of Coventry, John Witcombe, said: “It was a real privilege for me to get to know him even a little in my four years here. He was one of the most striking people I have ever met –and I’ve met a few, especially since coming here. His passion and refusal to accept ‘how things are’ will continue to inspire so many people. His generosity towards others with whom he had worked was really exceptional.”
The current holder of the Canon for Reconciliation Ministry post, Sarah Hills, said: “It had been a huge privilege to know Kenyon, and we will miss his principled intellect and commitment to serve a world sorely in need of peace and reconciliation. He will remain an inspiration to the Community of the Cross of Nails that he founded, and to all who work for peace and justice in the world.”
His funeral will be held at Stratford upon Avon Methodist Church on Monday 30th January at 11.30 am. No flowers, please, but donations in his memory may be made to Christian Aid.
A memorial service at Coventry Cathedral is being planned for Friday 3rd March at 3 pm.