The Ven Alan Wolstencroft RIP
16 September 2020 IN: People News
We heard this morning that the Ven Alan Wolstencroft has died peacefully in Marley Court Care Home in Bolton. Alan served the whole of his ordained ministry in this diocese; as curate at St Thomas Halliwell and All Saints Stand, Vicar at St Martin Wythenshawe, St John the Divine Brooklands, St Peter Bolton, Chaplain at Wythenshawe Hospital and as Area Dean of Withington. In 1998 Alan was made Archdeacon of Manchester and Residentiary Canon of Manchester Cathedral, in which capacity he served until his retirement.
Alan must have served on every synod and committee of the diocese. That impressive roll call of posts and ministries, however worthy and commendable, does not begin to do justice to the indelible mark that Alan has left on this diocese. A priest and a pastor to his fingertips, Alan could also be forthright in expressing his views, without fear or favour but he was always motivated by his love of the Lord, the care of clergy and laity, the welfare of the church and the flourishing of God’s Kingdom.
That care extended into his retirement as Bishop’s Officer for Retired Clergy, a ministry he exercised with characteristic dedication and compassion. As an archdeacon, Alan had to make some difficult decisions but people always recognised him as a man of honesty and integrity who could be trusted. The Cathedral congregation still fondly remember the reverent way Alan led worship, as well as his thoughtful preaching and deep pastoral care.
We hold Alan’s wife Christine (who supported him unstintingly throughout his ministry) their children, Jeremy and Elspeth, and their four grandchildren in our prayers.
I must add that Alan was a proud Lancastrian and a passionate Bolton Wanderers fan. We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his wisdom, humour, humanity, faithfulness and dedication. May he rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.
Ven David Sharples
Bishop David adds that he is saddened to hear of the death of such a faithful and dedicated servant of the Church. Although Alan retired some years before his arrival in the diocese, Bishop David has been especially grateful for the quality of the care shown by Alan for retired clergy and widows. Alan’s family is much in his prayers at this time.