Death of a WYEC founderWYEC launch 1987 2

Clive Barrett writes:
The death has been announced of Dr Lewis Burton, the first County Ecumenical Officer for West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC), from its foundation in 1987. Early tributes have included appreciation of Lewis, a Methodist minister, as “a great scholar”, whose theological approach was much valued, as well as for “his concern that arrangements and action should be tailored to each local situation”. The photograph shows Dr Lewis Burton, far left, at the inauguration of West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council, 1987.

His team of ecumenical officers included Bill Snelson, Keith Jones (“He was a great colleague – we spent many hours together setting up WYEC … and making sure we involved as many Christian traditions as possible”) and David Newman, who writes that “Lewis generated a wonderful collegial spirit amongst us during a period when ecumenism was fresh and exciting”.

Lewis later wrote up his experiences in the wider context of local ecumenism in his doctoral thesis Ecumenical Relationships Across the Denominations in Leeds, 1960-1993 (University of Leeds, 1995)

Personally, I appreciated his work with those of us who were chaplains at Leeds University and Polytechnic in the late 1980s, and early 1990s, as we built the broadest ecumenical team in the region. I was delighted to see him at Leeds Cathedral in 2012 for WYEC’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

The funeral will be held at Keighley Shared Church on Tuesday 23rd December at 1pm.  For further details, contact Clive Barrett 

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