OBITUARY : The Rev Kenneth Loveless
Tuesday 23 May 1995
Studies finished, Loveless joined the Royal Navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant- commander. When, for a second time he found himself floating in the cold sea after being torpedoed, he made a vow that if he was saved he would serve the people of east London as a priest, which he did for 45 years. Two curacies prepared him for the task of becoming vicar, in 1954, of the war-ravaged AngloCatholic Shrine of Holy Trinity, Hoxton. He took no heed of the warning that he would not be able to "run his parish like he ran his ship". He made up for his smallness of stature by a largeness of personality which he used to the full.
Loveless could make people work for him. Many curates became entranced by his spell, as did a grateful set of parishioners who found his sparkle so refreshing. Scouting and guiding flourished in the parish - despite the fact that he could not put up a tent himself. His liturgical flair was right on target: a plaque in his house reads, "God is watching so give Him a good show." He was offered the Bishopric of Nassau and the Bahamas but feared the way of life might be too tempting to a man who loved a drink.
He loved possessions: he had a prodigious collection of records (over 10,000); his walls were covered with coffin handles - death, funerals and cemeteries were all fascinating to him. He had such a collection of books that the gas cooker was used to store the overflow. Loveless never made a hot meal at home and boasted that he had never served a cup of coffee or tea to any of his many guests.
In the early years, Loveless became involved with the English music and dancing tradition. He was a member of 58 Morris sides and finally Squire of the Ring in 1980. He was appointed MBE for services to Morris dancing in 1990.
Loveless was much in demand as a concertina player. He had also been an inspiration for the "voice of God" in Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde, and his voice was still hail and hearty when he sang his last hymn in church: a favourite, Sydney Carter's "The Lord of the Dance".
After doing a very effective job as Area Dean of Hackney, he retired in 1976 to a little cottage in Islington. The handsome figure of early years became a mellow, bearded and ruddy-faced old man. He smoked his pipes with relish, his cigars with a flair and took his snuff with a superior snort.
Latterly, Loveless looked out with a sad eye on the church he had tried to serve so faithfully and at an England to which he had given so much. He was particularly upset and angry with the proposed closure of Bart's Hospital, London, where he had been brought back from death's door.
Kenneth Loveless had wanted to be buried off the Nab Tower at Portsmouth, in English water and by Her Majesty's Royal Navy. In fact, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing's export licence in hand, in international water and in the tugmaster's boat from Newhaven, he returned to the sea that he twice cheated. He knew England wasn't what it was, so he will understand.
Kenneth Norman Joseph Loveless, priest, dancer: born 1 August 1911; deacon 1949, priest 1950; vicar, Holy Trinity with St Mary 1954-68; Area Dean of Hackney 1968-76; MBE 1990; died 19 March 1995.
- 1 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...