Remembering Dr Margaret Bowker (Ry. 1987-96)

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Remembering Dr Margaret Bowker

We are sad to share the news that Dr Margaret Bowker, former Tutor at Ridley Hall, died on November 8th.

Dr Margaret Bowker, who was appointed to the Ridley staff in 1987 as Tutor in Prayer and Prayer Counselling, died very peacefully after long illnesses which she faced with great courage and patience.

A Requiem will be held on Thursday, December 8th, at 12 noon at Little St Mary's Church in Cambridge, followed by a reception in Corpus Christi College, the college with which both Margaret and her husband John - former Dean of Trinity College - had many connections over the years. The family have asked for family flowers only, but donations if desired in memory of Margaret can be made to Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge, or to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Margaret Bowker's appointment as part-time tutor at Ridley followed her retirement due to ill health from her post as Lecturer in Church History at Lancaster University, and was particularly welcomed by the then Principal, Hugo de Waal, for bringing balance between 'prayer and action' at a time where Ridley was expanding in many encouraging areas but, according to the third volume of the story of Ridley Hall, Fanning the Flame by Michael Botting, was "in real danger of overload and excessive busyness".

Archbishop Robert Runcie is reported to have suggested to Margaret that she should devote the remainder of her life to the ministry of prayer, her appointment at Ridley being just the first outworking of that commitment on her part. Margaret brought to her role a "marvellous combination of intellect and spiritual insight, and her teaching was hugely formative" as she continued to serve under the Principalship of Graham Cray, before retiring in 1996.

We remember Margaret with gratitude for her transformational contribution to what remains a keystone of the Ridley community - prayer - and our own prayers are with her husband John in particular at this time.