Tributes to former vicar of Seaford

JPCT 091214 S14500550x Contributed COPY PICTURE Bishop Colin Docker - COPY by Steve Cobb SUS-141112-094554001
JPCT 091214 S14500550x Contributed COPY PICTURE Bishop Colin Docker - COPY by Steve Cobb SUS-141112-094554001
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A former Vicar of Seaford, the Rt Rev Colin Docker, has been described in tributes this week as a ‘fine servant of the Lord’.

He served as Bishop of Horsham from 1984 to 1991 and died suddenly at his home last month aged 88.

A thanksgiving service was held at St Mary’s Parish Church in The Causeway, Horsham.

There, the current Bishop of Horsham the Rt Rev Mark Sowerby said, “He is not someone who came and went and could be detached from the cloth as if he’d never been here. Colin Docker’s ministry is so very much woven into the life of this household of faith that it would simply not be the same tapestry without him and it would not tell the story that it does.”

Bishop Colin played a major role in work to reorganise the Diocese of Chichester in the 1970s, helping write a report which became known as the Docker Report.

Bishop Mark added: “It was a structure that allowed the Bishop of Horsham to exercise patronage and to take responsibility for the recruitment and movement of clergy. To this, Bishop Colin brought his legendary and profound understanding of people.

“He saw not only when a parish needed a change but also where a move might be just the opportunity needed to rescue a floundering ministry.”

The father of two was appointed Bishop of Horsham following posts as Vicar of Midhurst, Seaford and then Rural Dean of Eastbourne, a role he was appointed to in 1971.

In 1991 he and his wife Thelma moved to Devon where he was Assistant Bishop at Exeter Cathedral. His funeral was held there last month.

He also leaves a son and daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.