|Bishop of Rochester|
|Church||Church of England|
|Diocese||Diocese of Rochester|
|Other posts||Honorary assistant bishop, Canterbury (1988–2006)|
|Ordination||1 January 1940|
|Born||4 October 1914|
|Died||14 September 2006
|Parents||Cdr Richard Say RNVR|
|Spouse||Irene Rayner (d. 2003)|
|Children||2 sons; 2 daughters|
|Alma mater||Christ's College, Cambridge|
Early life and education
Say was ordained deacon in the Church of England in Canterbury Cathedral on 22 December 1939 and was ordained priest just 10 days later on 1 January 1940. He served his curacy at Croydon (then in the Diocese of Canterbury), then at St Martin-in-the-Fields (Diocese of London) where he was General Secretary of the Church of England Youth Council. He later became General Secretary of the British Council of Churches and (as a conscious disciple of William Temple and a close supporter of Bishop George Bell) an Anglican representative at World Council of Churches conferences. He retired from those roles in 1955 to parish ministry in Hatfield (with the linked office of chaplain to the Marquess of Salisbury).
After his consecration as bishop in 1961, Say took a seat in the House of Lords from 1969 to 1988 (speaking there in 1986 on the admission of women into Holy Orders as deacons) and for some years deputised for the Archbishop of Canterbury as chairman of the board of governors of the Church Commissioners. He also spoke in General Synod in favour of church marriages for divorcés (1983) and of Anglican-Methodist reunion.
On retirement as Bishop of Rocherster (he was one of the last bishops not required to retire at 70, whilst the final words at his retirement service being “Alleluia — on we go”) he moved to Wye, where he was active in the parish and was an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury until shortly before his death.
Say supported the city of Rochester, Chatham, Kent County Cricket Club, the University of Kent (serving as Pro Chancellor for several years) and, more recently, Canterbury itself. He was also for 18 years High Almoner to the Queen. He was honorary chaplain of the Pilgrims Society from 1968 till 2002.
Death and legacy
- I was privileged to benefit from Bishop David's advice and friendship over the years. Even when I saw him a few days before he died, he typically ministered to me as much as I to him.
Say's funeral service was celebrated in the nave of Canterbury Cathedral on 27 September 2006 and a public memorial service was held on 2 February 2007 in Rochester Cathedral (with a sermon by the then Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali). His wife Irene was a JP and gardener who died in 2003. They had a son and two daughters, all of whom survived them.
- He believed the greatest danger to the Church of England was concentrating “on laundering our surplices” and forgetting its true mission, which was "from Corrymeela to Calcutta, washing the world’s feet”.
- “God is the God of the future as well as of the past.”
- Robert Worcester (September 28, 2006). "Bishop David Say - Lives remembered". The Times.
- Obituary in The Telegraph
- Obituary in The Times
- Obituary in The Independent
- Obituary of Edward Francis, an archdeacon under Say
- Obituary of David Bartleet, a suffragan bishop under Say
- Obituary of Philip Goodrich, a suffragan bishop under Say
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Rochester