Obituary: John Piper

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The Independent Online
THE ENTRY in Who's Who for John Piper begins: 'Painter and writer; Member of the Oxford Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches'. Piper's willingness to promote a good purpose by serving on a committee deserves a mention, writes Hugo Brunner. Long service on the Oxford DAC, of which John Betjeman was also a member, entailed attendance at monthly meetings and numerous visits to churches. He made time for both, to the enrichment or cherishing of many a lovely building - and the entertainment of his fellow committee-members.

His affection for the churches of Oxfordshire was also shown in putting his work as painter and writer at the disposal of the Oxford Historic Churches Trust. He was a wonderful writer on churches, conveying brilliantly what he had learned and what he saw. On Dorchester Abbey for example, in Oxfordshire: a Shell Guide:

The architectural history of this great church is complicated, but the total effect is of a majestic decorated building that has been much loved and used, much neglected, mutilated and restored (Butterfield and Scott were both called in by the Victorians) but that originally had such richness and excellence of workmanship that nothing - time, weather or man - could spoil it.

(Photograph omitted)