Rev Hugh G Cross MBE 1930-2017
Allan Cross writes:
Hugh Cross, the first appointed Ecumenical Moderator of Milton Keynes Christian Council, has died aged 87 following a three year struggle with mixed dementia. Hugh took up his pioneering role in Milton Keynes in 1990 during the final fitting out of the newly built Church of Christ the Cornerstone which served as his office, and a base from which he carried out his pastoral duties among the expanding community and local clergy. During his five-year tenure, which ended with his retirement in 1995, he shaped this post, steering a path between the differing understandings of what church leadership meant for each of the different Christian denominations, while faithfully representing their church leaders within the city and surrounding areas.
The son of a missionary parents, Hugh was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) where his father, Arthur Cross, played a pioneering role in the field of Christian Unity and industrial mission. He came to the UK in 1951 and attended Bristol Baptist College, where he trained for the ministry. During his time there, he met and later married his wife Doreen, a trainee nurse.
In 1969, Hugh joined an embryonic Local Ecumenical Project at Grove Hill, a newly built housing estate on the edge of Hemel Hempstead. Sunday worship was held in a builders’ hut, while the streets, houses and eventually, an ecumenical church, were built around it. It was a successful experiment which brought the different denominations of the Christian church under one roof. Hugh learnt much through this experience, and in 1979 took up a post with the British Council of Churches becoming Ecumenical Officer for England, a consultative role supporting emerging ecumenical projects around the country. Hugh held this post for ten years before taking up his post in Milton Keynes.
Hugh and Doreen moved to Ottery St Mary in Devon following Hugh’s retirement in 1995. Doreen died in 2010. Hugh is survived by his four children Janet, Graham Allan and Kathleen and there will be a Thanksgiving Service on Saturday 21 April 2018 at 3.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1DQ and afterwards at The Tumbling Weir Hotel, Canaan Way, Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1AQ
For catering purposes, please could you email Allan Cross.