The most commonly used title in the Gospels for Christ on the lips of His hearers is Teacher. Christ came to teach the way to the Father and to witness to His love. Anthony was a true disciple. He was a teacher and a witness in the mould of Christ.
In his years as a classroom teacher Anthony inspired generations of young people. Introducing them to philosophy and theology he encouraged them to think and reflect. Later in life Anthony became a teacher of teachers through his work for the Diocese of Lancaster Education Service and other dioceses. His work was always of the highest quality, the fruit of his own deep reflection and thought. Yet Anthony brought more than true professionalism to his work. He lived what he taught and witnessed by his manner of life. We all who encountered him would agree that he can truly be described as authentic.
Beyond the world of education Anthony did whatever he could to serve other human beings. Two initiatives are symbolic of this service. He was deeply involved in supporting refugees, helping them to settle in their new environment and finding creative ways to enable them to flourish. He also worked with young people and adults to encourage and guide them in ways of Christian meditation. Anthony could see the true dignity of the human being and be sensitive to their material and spiritual needs.
We who had the privilege of being a student in his classroom or a teacher in his conference room or a colleague in the office cherished and valued Anthony. He made us laugh, he treated us with respect, he inspired us in our work. We loved and admired him and we will miss him greatly. Anthony was a teacher of God’s children, a disciple inspired by Christ. He was a man of God; and we were privileged to share a little in his life.
Our prayers and condolences are with his family and loved ones. May he rest in the peace of Christ whom he served so faithfully.
I want to write on behalf of the Secondary Advisers of England and Wales. It is my privilege to lead this group. The immensity of Anthony’s contributions over the years far exceed any attempt to do them justice in writing. As a professional member, he attended absolutely everything and put his heart and soul into all aspects of his work. Anthony’s gifts of skills, experience and indeed direction will be greatly missed. Perhaps his greatest gift was that of wisdom. Always kind, gentle and approachable, with a sense of humour and encouragement, Anthony kept us well and truly on track. He was always amongst our first points of call to provide leadership and time for numerous group periods of reflections for both advisers and for diocesan gatherings. On occasions Anthony described himself as ‘cerebrally quiet and private’. I would gently regard that as his inner strength. We loved him!
May he have already heard the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.
We have taken the liberty of having Anthony’s name inscribed in the Golden Book of Remembrance, at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The names recorded therein are remembered on the First Friday Mass of each month.
God Bless each of you,
Deacon Paul Mannings
Chair of Secondary Advisers
Adviser for Secondary Religious Education
Archdiocese of Liverpool