Obituary: Canon Perceval Hayman

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Perceval Hayman was an interesting and enjoyable mixture of a man. His ministry as an Anglican clergyman was varied yet straightforward - senior chaplain of Marlborough College for 10 years and then for 20 years vicar of Rogate and Terwick in the West Sussex countryside and rural dean of the Midhurst deanery.

But it was against this background that he emerged as a gifted, thoughtful and original character. Through his humour and humanity he made intelligible to many people the practise of Christian life, and through his sermons and talks an open-minded and generous approach to the problems of faith and doctrine.

His interests, learning and activities were multifarious. He brought to all of it organising skills, developed in his war service as Technical Adjutant of the 15th/19th the King's Royal Hussars, and later as a staff officer in the War Office dealing with the supply of army fighting vehicles. He also at this time wrote part of the official history of tank warfare.

Hayman was born in Manchester in 1915, the son of Perceval Hayman, a barrister and county court judge, and of Susan Moon Hartley of Fence-in- Pendle, Lancashire. After the war, as a lay reader he eventually came forward for ordination, trained at Lincoln Theological College and was made deacon in 1950.

At Marlborough (1953-63) he had an active interest in the archaeology of Wiltshire, taking school parties to Stonehenge and other sites. He taught generations of boys the skills of building and dry-stone walling, which he had acquired on the Lancashire estate of his boyhood.

He was a competent sailor, a good amateur actor and a crack shot, having been a member of the army rifle team. His thoughtful energy as a clergyman found expression in his founding in 1971 of the Rogate and Terwick Housing Association to provide sheltered housing in the heart of the village, a commitment which widened out when he became chairman of the Chichester Diocesan Housing Association in 1973.

As a parish priest and pastor he played a leading part in establishing the Bishops' Council for Pastoral Care and Counselling, and its work among clergy, where his influence and insight were greatly valued. At the heart of it all was his home presided over by his wife Sylvia, a lady of exceptionally warm heart and possessed of a highly original personality which found expression in many a happy and unexpected view of life and turn of phrase.

Perceval Hayman was a big handsome man with a penetrating gaze and with undogmatic and compassionate concern for all those with whom he came in contact.

Simon Phipps

Perceval Ecroyd Cobham Hayman, priest: born Manchester 22 March 1915; ordained deacon 1950, priest 1951; Senior Chaplain, Marlborough College 1953-63; Vicar, Rogate, Chichester 1963-81; Rector, Terwick 1963-81; Rural Dean of Midhurst 1972-81; Chairman, Chichester Diocesan Housing Association 1973-81; Canon and Prebendary, Chichester Cathedral 1977-94; married 1939 Sylvia Gamble (died 1996; one daughter); died Weymouth, Dorset 12 May 1997.