Death of Clifford Warne - Full Report
Anglican Media is sad to announce the passing of Clifford Warne, one of Australia’s most gifted workers for the Gospel.
Clifford Warne died of a heart attack in his Neutral Bay home on the morning of Wednesday, May 14th, leaving behind him an unsurpassed legacy of Christian programming and educational material. He was 73 years old, the proud father of three sons and the loving grandfather of several grandchildren.
Clifford had a known heart condition which required by-pass surgery almost two decades ago. However, he had made a superb recovery and was working as a public speaker, lecturer in communication, television producer, radio announcer, author, puppeteer and magician right up until his death. Clifford Warne completed his last speaking engagement at Christchurch, St. Ives Anglican Church the night before he died.
Despite his known condition, his passing comes as a shock to many members of the Christian community. Clifford was a tireless worker for the Gospel in almost every form of media imaginable and an acclaimed expert in communication. His publications include, “How to hold an audience without a rope”, “Reading the Bible aloud”, “The Polar Parables” and “Tales of Jesus”, as well as numerous audio recordings on communication, story-telling and reading technique for directors, scriptwriters, teachers and ministers.
Clifford Warne went to school at Randwick Boys High and began his media career as a radio announcer at Inverell. An avid entertainer, he took up a position at Scripture Union and introduced the use of puppets and magic tricks to children’s ministry.
Clifford Warne is probably best known for his contributions to Australian television, particularly Christian programming. Clifford Warne studied film and television techniques in the United States in 1955-56 before becoming the first director of the Church of England Television Society (now Anglican Media) in 1957. Clifford produced thousands of hours of television programs for the Seven, Nine and Ten Networks for a period of over forty years. He directed, produced and scripted Australian children shows like the ‘Whatsiname Show’, featuring the puppet Gus, ‘Sing Me A Rainbow’ and ‘Reach For A Rainbow’, as well as acclaimed documentaries, ‘That Man From Nazareth’ and ‘Exploring Jerusalem’. Clifford Warne became one of Australia’s longest running presenters with a career on the Seven Network that spanned 37 years. He eventually received the Order of Australia for his services to children’s television.
During his time with Anglican Media Clifford Warne helped to establish the values-based advertising firm Pilgrim International, and served as the chairman of its board for a number of years. A talented magician, he also took on the position of chaplain to the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He also co-wrote a number of children’s stories with acclaimed religious author and speaker, Dr. Paul White.
In 1997 Clifford Warne left Anglican Media and directed his efforts towards a public speaking career that spanned the globe. Clifford taught speech communication techniques in Britain, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. He was once described by a leading American producer as ‘the finest story-teller’ he knew. At the time of his death Clifford was involved in a very busy speaking schedule for the Bible Society of Australia, and was a frequent speaker at numerous Christian schools around the country. He was also still broadcasting daily creative insights into the Bible on Sydney’s FM 103.2