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Top theologian pays tribute to former Hampstead barrister and churchgoer

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 November 2013

Sir Godfray Le Quesne QC.

Sir Godfray Le Quesne QC.

Archant

A former top barrister and popular Hampstead churchgoer has been remembered by a leading theologian for his “remarkable wholeness” and deep faith in God.

Lifelong Hampstead resident Sir Godfray Le Quesne, QC, passed away, aged 89, at his home in Briardale Gardens on October 2.

The father-of-three’s funeral was held at Golders Green Crematorium on October 9 and was followed by a thanksgiving service at Heath Street Baptist Church, in Heath Street, Hampstead, where Sir Godfray had previously served as church secretary.

Baptist theologian Prof Paul Fiddes, professor of systematic theology at Oxford University, paid tribute to Sir Godfray at the service last month.

He said: “Wherever I met him he was the same person, with strong values, generous attitudes and a deep faith in God that shaped who he was. His life was integrated, all of one piece, a remarkable wholeness.

“In the first place there was a sharp, incisive mind at work, able to sort the wheat from the chaff, seeing the way ahead while others stumbled about. He brought order into chaos, putting things in their proper place with sound judgement and with precision.”

Sir Godfray was chairman of the Council of Regent’s Park College at Oxford University for 30 years from 1957 to 1987, during which time he became friends with Prof Fiddes who was teaching at the college.

The pair were also members of a theological dining club called the All Souls Club, where they regularly discussed theology over the table.

Earlier in life, Sir Godfray was elected as president of the Oxford Union in 1943, while a student at the university’s Exeter College.

After graduating from university, he became a barrister in 1947 and was appointed a member of the Queen’s Counsel in 1962.

His first reported case was in the Privy Council – an appeal from the Supreme Court of Palestine. His last reported case before retiring was also in the Privy Council, some 58 years later in 2006 – an appeal from Trinidad and Tobago.

Sir Godfray was a judge and vice-president of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey from 1964 to 1997. He was chairman of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission from 1975 to 1987.

He became a bencher of The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1969 and in 1989 was its treasurer.

He is survived by his widow Susan, sons Nick and Rob, daughter Catherine and several grandchildren.


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