Paul Carter

Canon Paul Brian Carter
Canon Paul Brian Carter
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PAUL Brian Carter, a Church of England clergyman in Yorkshire for more than 60 years and a committed parish priest, has died aged 90.

He spent his ministry in a variety of parishes in two dioceses, from seaside resorts to rural and inner city areas, with most of it served in the then Ripon Diocese.

Canon Carter was always interested in people and had the great quality in a priest of being a good listener and conscientious in his pastoral care. He was also a thoughtful preacher with a sense of humour.

He and his twin brother, Peter, were born and brought up at Repton School where their father, who was also a priest, was on the teaching staff. The pair were both educated there.

When they left, Canon Carter, who had learnt the piano and was a talented musician, joined an insurance brokers in London.

During the Second World War he served in the RAF in North Africa, where he used his talents as a pianist and songwriter to form a concert party. It was during this time that he developed his Christian faith and in 1945 went to study at King’s College, London, and Warminster Theological College. He was ordained priest at York Minster in 1951 by the great Archbishop Cyril Garbett.

His first curacy was at St Columba’s Church in Scarborough, where the vicar he expected to train him had just left because of ill health. He then served at Pocklington and in 1953 married Shirley Hammond, a young nurse whom he had met a few years earlier on a Student Christian Movement summer course in Ilkley, at Emanuel Church, Bridlington.

In 1955 he was appointed vicar of St John’s, Newington, a large inner-city parish in Hull, where he had about 100 baptisms, 100 weddings, and 100 funerals a year, making several home visits to each one in what was an example of his conscientious pastoral care.

But after five years his doctor advised him to move to preserve his health and he left the York Diocese neighbouring Ripon to be Vicar of Ainderby Steeple and Rector of Scruton, near Northallerton. Other parishes were later added to his care including Yafforth and Morton-on-Swale and for 27 years he had responsibility for six villages, three churches and a church school. He used his large record collection to give musical evenings and parishioners valued his Bible-based sermons, gentle manner and patience.

In 1970, he was elected to the General Synod, where he served for 17 years and was a keen supporter of the ordination of women to the priesthood. In 1986 he was made an Honorary Canon of Ripon Cathedral, retiring from parish ministry the following year.

He went to live in West Tanfield, near Ripon, where he helped by taking services and gave record concerts. He was also a chaplain at Fountains Abbey.

He attended Bedale Probus Club and Ripon Men’s Forum and continued to give musical evenings for local organisations.

In a sermon he preached on the 50th anniversary of his ordination he said that being a priest was a great treasure and awesome responsibility, and that the heart of the Christian faith was not a set of rules to be obeyed but a personal relationship with Jesus, based on love.

Canon Carter is survived by his wife Shirley, children Nicholas and Elizabeth, and twin brother Peter.