Obituaries:Peter Hebblethwaite

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Further to John Skinner's excellent obituary [19 December], Peter Hebblethwaite was a good friend to Anglicans and Anglicanism, writes the Rev Sir Derek Pattinson.

In the Sixties he rejoiced over the transformation of the Anglican/Roman Catholic relationship. Latterly he was anxious, and often angry, about forces and the persons who, as he saw it, were exasperating the problems, new and old, which separate us. It was fitting that his last public lecture should have been delivered in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey a few days before his death to the Friends of the Anglican Centre in Rome, and on the theme "Rome and Canterbury through three decades". It was a brilliant performance; though the organisers of the meeting knew he had been unwell. The presentation was witty, vigorous and combative. If some of his comments and some of his sallies irritated some of his hearers, they equally pleased others; and all were given furiously to remember and to reflect.

It was the kind of swan-song he could have chosen for himself.