Stuart and Brenda Blanch

Stuart Blanch (2 February 1918 – 3 June 1994) was an Anglican priest, bishop and archbishop. Little interested in religion in his youth, he became a committed Christian at the age of 21, while serving in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. In 1943, he married Brenda Gertrude Coyte. His biographer R. H. L. Williams writes, “Their years of wartime separation were bridged by a remarkable correspondence in which they explored their faith together.”

Stuart was ordained as a priest in 1949 and spent three years as a curate and five years as a vicar in and around Oxford where he had studied for the priesthood. He was vice principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford from 1957 to 1960, the founding head of Rochester Theological College from 1960 to 1966, Bishop of Liverpool from 1966 to 1975, and Archbishop of York from 1975 to 1983.

In retirement, Brenda, herself active in public life in both Liverpool and York, compiled two anthologies, Learning of God: Readings from Amy Carmichael (1985) and Heaven a Dance: an Evelyn Underhill Anthology (1992). Stuart added forewords to each of the books. He died of cancer at the Katharine House Hospice, Banbury, Oxfordshire, on June 3, 1994. Retirement years had been saddened by the death of his eldest daughter, Susan, and he was buried alongside her in Shenington churchyard on June 9. He was survived by his wife, son, and three daughters.