Christopher Tubbs

CHRISTOPHER Norman Tubbs, the son of a missionary family whose influence was reflected in his own ministry in North Yorkshire, has died aged 84.

He was vicar of Scalby, near Scarborough, for 35 years during which time he introduced a number of innovations to services, and was always a strong supporter of missions overseas, reflecting his early life and parental example.

As a keen horseman he kept ponies and hunters and inaugurated an annual outdoor Horseman's Service.

One of the features of vicarage life was that it was usually home to a selection of livestock, including goats to control the grass in the churchyard.

His father, Norman Tubbs, was Bishop of Tinnevelly, South India, and his mother Norah was a trained missionary.

He was the third of four children, all born overseas in the days of Mission and Empire. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Burma, when his father was appointed Bishop of Rangoon. He later became Dean, and Assistant Bishop of Chester.

Canon Christopher Tubbs was educated at Repton School, but on the outbreak of the Second World War he and his younger sister Barbara were evacuated to Canada, where he attended Ridley College.

He graduated from there in 1944, returned to Britain for military training then joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in India in 1945.

He was posted to Burma, where the life expectancy of an officer was four days as the Japanese fought a bitter retreat through South East Asia, but he survived as they surrendered following the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He remained in India, seconded to the Indian Army's Dogra Regiment, serving on the North West Frontier in the lead-up to independence and partition in the Punjab.

In 1951 he returned to England and resumed his education, reading theology at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he also excelled at several sports, including captaining the university ice hockey team. After completing his MA, he went to Wycliffe Hall Theological College, Oxford, where he also played for the university ice hockey team, unusually earning a blue from both universities.

He was ordained by his father at Chester Cathedral in 1952 and served his first curacy on the Wirral. There he met Anne Cornelius, whom he married, again in Chester Cathedral, in 1954.

They moved to Norwich where he was curate at St Peter Mancroft Church and chaplain to the 4th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment Territorials.

In 1959 he was appointed vicar of Scalby. During his time there, he gained two more parishes when St Laurence's was united with St John's, Staintondale, and St Hilda's, Ravenscar. From 1976 until 1982 he was also Rural Dean of Scarborough and in 1985 was appointed a Canon of York Minster.

He retired in 1995 but retained his Territorial Army link, as chaplain to the Green Howards.

Outside Church he was involved with many local groups and charities, as well as continuing his sporting interests including supporting Scarborough Cricket Club.

In retirement he and his wife lived in West Ayton, where he continued to be active for many years assisting with services at St Helen's, Wykeham.

Canon Tubbs is survived by his wife, three sons, and three

grandchildren. His only daughter died in early infancy

His funeral will be held at St Helen's and All Saints', Wykeham, on Monday at noon.