Bishop Humphrey worked closely with the Archdeacon of York, a post held from 1999 by the Ven Richard Seed,
who wrote in 2003, "We have worked closely for 3 years, meeting weekly,
often speaking daily and able to share our own inner thoughts, feelings
and laughter. I shall miss him greatly and thank God we have been such a
close working team.
"His tireless ministry has been of great
support and value to the parishes of this archdeaconry. He has visited
them often and knows many of their people, not just the officers, by
"...Indeed, his whole time as Bishop has been one of a constant Mission initiative..."
his background in educational chaplaincy and administration, Bishop
Humphrey was an ideal candidate to Chair the Diocesan Board of
Education. On his retirement, Diocesan Director of Education the Revd Andrew Martlew
wrote, "Humphrey was probably the best chairman I know. He also brought
a breadth of educational experience to his role, plus a vital
understanding of the Diocese. He deserves great credit for steering...
two new schools to a successful conclusion.
"My times of greatest
enjoyment as DDE were our regular strategy meetings. They enabled me to
take an overview of the Board’s work, to bounce ideas off someone whose
judgement I trusted, to seek counsel when faced with tricky situations –
and to delight in Humphrey’s sense of humour."
A notable part of
Bishop Humphrey's ministry was his interest in Industrial Chaplaincy,
particularly in York and the then-thriving Selby Coalfield. On his
retirement, Roy Wadsworth of
York Industrial Chaplaincy recalled its inception in 1993-4: "The most
difficult problem was not finding a suitable candidate to be Chaplain,
but the financing of such a post. Church funding was not available for a
project of this kind. But it was here that Bishop Humphrey, together
with one of the major employers, was able to negotiate forward
partnership funding arrangements. These would not only break new ground
in church and market place relationships, but set a new national
partnership pattern in the world of Industrial Mission.
leadership and diplomacy of Bishop Humphrey, whether standing with a
Chaplain at the gates of the ABB York railway works on the day of its
closure, or sitting with Trustees and Industrialists, will be greatly
Lord David Hope
was Archbishop of York when Bishop Humphrey retired, and wrote, "Both
Humphrey and Anne have been warm and generous in their hospitality to
many in the Diocese and this has been greatly appreciated. Anne has
shared Humphrey’s keen commitment to education being a professional LEA
"As we bid them farewell from the Diocese we
express our enormous gratitude to them both and assure them of our
prayers and good wishes for their retirement."
These and other
retirement tributes, read in full, are notable for phrases such as
"great vision and strong leadership", "Humphrey’s style was to work
alongside his colleagues... to offer encouragement to them to use their
skills," "thanks largely to Humphrey Taylor’s tireless advocacy," "his
readiness to speak up and be constructively critical," "his quiet
thoughtful care and wise counsel," "by being well known, accessible, he
has become trusted and valued."
On retirement Bishop Humphrey
moved with Anne to the Vale of Evesham where he became an Honorary
Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Worcester for ten years; more
recently they moved to Bristol to be close to family.
be to God for Bishop Humphrey's life, witness and ministry; we hold his
family in our prayers, and share their hope that a memorial service in
the Diocese of York may be possible later in the year as restrictions in
response to the COVID pandemic begin to ease.