A charasmatic priest and talented musician who did much to preserve the history of Burnley’s oldest church has died aged 69.
The Rev. Dr Quentin Wilson was at St Peter’s for five years, taking over as priest-in-charge in 1997 when Canon David Towers retired. He was appointed as Rector the following year.
Dr Wilson arrived in Burnley from Langho, where he had been the vicar for 13 years.
Brought up in London, he trained for the ministry at King’s College, London, and St Augustine’s College, Canterbury. His first post was on the Isle of Dogs, East London, and he then spent six years at Muswell Hill where he learned to play the organ. He was also a gifted tenor. He was made a Fellow of Trinity College, and he became succentor and sacrist with Exeter Cathedral Choir before being appointed a minor Canon of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. His move north, to Langho, followed three years at Windsor.
Dr Wilson quickly became involved in community activities in Burnley, including preparing meals for the church’s Age Concern lunches. He took a keen interest in the life of St Peter’s CE Primary School and was chairman of the governors. His wife, Anne, also served on the governing board.
When they left the parish the Friends of St Peter’s set up a lasting legacy in their honour. The Quentin Wilson Award is presented annually to whoever has done most for the school. It can be given to staff and governors, and to a child.
Dr Wilson’s departure from Burnley marked the end of his full-time ministry, but he returned to St Peter’s to play in a concert. He swopped his clerical robes for academia to pursue his interest in 18th and 19th Century history, earning a Doctorate at the University of York.
He was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago but remained well until a few weeks ago. He died at St Catherine’s Hospice, Scarborough.
Dr Wilson’s funeral was a feast of music at his church, St Mary’s Priory Church, Old Malton, on Tuesday. He leaves his wife and daughter, Isabel.
The family has asked for any donations to be given to King’s College London Cancer Research, or to church funds.