Ridley Hall is saddened to hear of the death of a very distinguished former Principal, the Rt Revd Keith Sutton.
Keith was a graduate of Jesus College Cambridge who trained at Ridley Hall in the early 1960s before serving as a curate in Plymouth, chaplain at St John's College Cambridge and tutor at Bishop Tucker College in Uganda (during the turbulent Idi Amin years). He was appointed Principal at Ridley Hall after a very difficult period in the college's history, when the college had had three principals in one year and student figures had sunk alarmingly. Keith had the immediate effect of restoring confidence through his integrity, wisdom, maturity, warm-heartedness and positive outlook. He was Principal for five years, from 1973-78, during which the fortunes of the college revived dramatically, and Ridley became part of the newly formed Cambridge Theological Federation.
Keith Sutton was subsequently Bishop of Kingston (1978-82) and diocesan Bishop of Lichfield (1984-2003). One fellow-bishop described him as 'the saint within the House of Bishops, a man of grace and truth'. He subsequently served as a retired bishop in the dioceses of Truro and Exeter. For his last few years he suffered from dementia and lived in a care home.
Keith was married to Jean, who died in 2000. They had three sons and a daughter, to whom we send our condolences. Ridley Hall is profoundly grateful for the way God used this great man at a crucial stage in our history.
A thanksgiving service will be held at Lichfield Cathedral at 12.30 on Wednesday 10 May. The Service will be a Eucharist with Music, Prayers and Tributes that recall Bishop Keith’s wonderful life and ministry. Bishop Keith was installed as the 97th diocesan Bishop of Lichfield in 1984 and served in the role until his retirement in 2003. Everyone is welcome to the thanksgiving service. Details about how to get to the cathedral and where to park (there is no parking in The Close around the cathedral) are at http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/visit-the-cathedral/planning-your-visit