The Rt Rev Dr Dudley Tucker Foord died on September 10, at the age of 90.
UPDATE: A special memorial service for Bishop Foord will be held at St Andrew's Cathedral on Wednesday the 18th of September, from 2pm. Currently, it is understood the service will be led by Archbishop Dr Glenn Davies, while former Archbishop Dr Peter Jensen will preach.
Born in 1923, Dudley Foord studied at the University of Sydney in the early 1950s, receiving two Science degrees with a focus on nuclear science. He studied theology at the University of London, then at Moore Theological College, and was priested in Sydney in 1958. He also received a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in California, USA in 1977.
He then served in a number of parishes as rector. While at Kingsgrove Anglican Church from 1960 to 1965 he was noted for procuring the use of a train in order to transport children to the church’s Sunday school picnics. He also later served for 12 years as rector of Christ Church, St Ives (1972 to 1984).
Bishop Foord was heavily involved with university ministry, serving as a part-time chaplain at both the University of New South Wales and Sydney University, as well as speaking at a number of university mission events. In 1965 he became Dean and a senior lecturer at Moore College, where he served for seven years.
He also served as presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA), after consecration at St Andrew’s Cathedral in 1984. He served in South Africa for three years, and later served as Canon of St John’s Cathedral in Parramatta and curate-in-charge in Liverpool South until his retirement from full-time ministry in 1990. He then served as a consultant to the Department of Evangelism (now Evangelism and New Churches), and more generally as a church consultant.
Bishop Foord was also instrumental in the establishment of the Katoomba Men’s Convention in the late ’90s. Bishop Al Stewart, the current Chairman of Katoomba Christian Conventions, says Bishop Foord’s dedication to men’s ministry in particular is one of the defining marks of his life and work.
“Dudley always had a real heart for Christian men, and for supporting them in being good husbands, fathers, brothers. He even very recently was still travelling and speaking,” Bishop Stewart says. “It was his energy and enthusiasm and drive to serve men even as he got older that was really infectious.”
One of Bishop Foord’s sons, the Rev Nick Foord, is currently assistant chaplain at the Shore School. He says it is hard to summarise the work of his father because of the variety of activities, interests and mission fields in which he engaged. Expository preaching, development in music ministries, missional talks with a science bent, and church planting were just some of these areas.
“He was enthusiastic, he was visionary - he did everything,” Mr Foord says. “I don’t really know where to stop and where to start. He was cutting edge in many respects."
Archbishop Glenn Davies issued a statement saying the news was received 'with great sadness' and that 'we are bereft of a great saint'.
"Dudley Foord exercised an outstanding ministry as a rector of two Sydney parishes (Kingsgrove and St Ives), where his passion for evangelism was infectious. Always prepared to rethink parish ministry and revitalise both Christians and church structures with a gospel-minded focus, Dudley was chiefly responsible for bringing Evangelism Explosion to Sydney" Dr Davies said.
The Archbishop said "Dudley's interests were not merely parochial, he was also Dean of Students and lecturer at Moore College, directed Men's Conventions at Katoomba and post-ordination training in the Diocese, as well as acting as a consultant in church planting. His gifts were rightly recognised by the Church of England in South Africa and Zimbabwe, as they elected him to be their Presiding Bishop in 1984. However, after returning to Sydney he continued in active ministry, including an incumbency in South Liverpool, until ill health prevented him in his late 80s."
"Dudley and his wife Elizabeth were a team. Frequently ministering together as well as separately, they modelled both servant-mindedness and personal godliness in their marriage" Dr Davies said. "We are bereft of a great saint, whose confidence rested entirely in God's grace and whose aim was always to glorify the Lord Jesus."
Bishop Foord is survived by his wife Elizabeth, as well as four children and eleven grandchildren.
Image courtesy of Ramon Williams.