Graham Harrison

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It is with great sadness that I report the homegoing of Graham Harrison. Mr Harrison was a stalwart of the Reformed and Evangelical scene in the UK, and a fixture at gatherings in Wales and the UK more widely where doctrinal and experimental Calvinism was declared and cultivated.

With a fierce pair of eyebrows and convictions to match, Mr Harrison could be a somewhat imposing figure, and no-one would suggest that he suffered fools gladly. At the same time, he had a magnificently dry sense of humour, a love for real preaching, a keen historical sense, and an abiding concern for the truth of the gospel and the health of the church. He had been a faithful pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newport, South Wales, until his recent retirement, and also a lecturer at London Theological Seminary since its commencement in 1977, retiring from lecturing and joining the board in 2007. I knew him best in his capacity as a member of the organising committee for the Westminster Conference, an annual gathering for lovers of church history and historical theology (with special reference to the Puritans), and as the chairman of the Westminster Fellowship, where his throaty, "Now then . . ." was the almost-invariable prelude to the discussions and debates that enlivened those meetings. I had appreciated his kind encouragements with regard to preaching, his willingness to express his convictions clearly and warmly, his personal thoughtfulness from which I profited on a number of occasions, and his crisp wit.

Mr Harrison had recently suffered a rupture of an Achilles' tendon and had been struggling around his home on a couple of Zimmer frames, one upstairs and one downstairs. To compound his difficulties, his wife Eluned had also had a fall which left her with injuries to her arms and face. I last spoke to him a few days ago, when he seemed weary but in good spirits, concerned for the events that were taking place in his absence, and assuring all those involved of his presence in spirit and his prayers for those participating. We had promised one another a conversation on a topic that will, perhaps happily, be entirely redundant when we see one another again.

It seems that no-one had expected his sudden call on Monday morning to be with Christ, which is far better. The immediate cause of death is unknown and arrangements for the funeral have yet to be made. I can honestly say, without being able to pretend that I was an intimate of his, that I will sincerely miss him.
Posted May 21, 2013 @ 8:22 AM by Jeremy Walker
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