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Former York Minster canon Christopher Chapman dies aged 101
A FORMER vice principal of St John’s College and honorary lay canon of York Minster has died at the age 101.
The death of Christopher Chapman on June 20 has prompted warm tributes from those who knew him including Canon Glyn Webster, acting Dean of York Minster.
Mr Chapman began at St John’s in 1946 as a lecturer in geography, following the Second World War in which he served with The Royal Signals 78 Division as a Captain and Adjutant in Algeria, Tunisia and Italy.
He was made vice-chancellor in 1951, a position he remained in up to his retirement in 1973. During his years at St John’s he oversaw many changes including the admission of women students at the previously all-male college.
The church played an important part in his life and when the tower of York Minster was found to be in danger of collapse he was heavily involved in raising the £1 million pounds needed for the vital work.
In 1978 his efforts saw him appointed him a Lay Canon Provincial by the then Archbishop of York, Dr Stuart Blanch.
Close friend Tony Cleaver, said: “Two of his fondest memories were the Royal Maundy in York Minster in 1972 and the visit of the Queen Mother in 1978 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Friends of York Minster when he entertained Her Majesty to tea in The Treasurer’s House.
“He often spoke of picking her handbag up off the floor and handing it to her and said it weighed a ton and wondered if she had a gun in it.”
Canon Glyn Webster, acting Dean of York Minster, said: “Christopher Chapman had a long and distinguished association with York Minster – as a Lay Canon Provincial and also for a long period of time, the Honorary Secretary of the Friends of York Minster.
“He will be remembered with affection and respect – a true Minster character.”
He spent the last thirteen years of his life at Lamel Beeches Care home on Heslington Road, still enjoying his favourite pastimes of going on holidays, especially an annual trip to the Lake District, and entertaining former student teachers, most of whom were now retired like himself.
His funeral will take place at York Minster on Wednesday, July 11, at 10.45am followed by a private cremation.