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OBITUARY

ARCHDEACON FANCOURT

THE MAN WITH MANY FRIENDS.

Very sincere regret will be felt at the announcement that the Yen, Archdeacon "Thomas Fancourt, one of the oldest and best-known Churchmen in New Zealand, who had been seriously ill forj. some weeks, died at his residence in Coro-mandel-street at 1 o'clock this morning.

' The late Archdeacon Fancourt was a quiet, unobtrusive and practical Christian man to all who knew and respected him—and such were not" confined to the Anglican Communion. His father and grandfather before him were clergymen in the Church of England, and his son, the Key. William Fancourt is vicar of a Wellington parish.

The late Archdeacon was born at Malvern, Worcestershire, on 22nd January, 1840, and was educated at Lancing College, .Susses. He came to New Zealand from Cawnpore, where, after seeing service as a missionary, his health broke down, and he had to give up the work for which he had studied at the famous > St. Augustine's College, Canterbury. When the Archdeacon arrived in Wellington it was a very small town compared with what it is to-day. "Possibly some 7000 people—^perhaps more," he said when asked by' a representative of. The Post some time ago to tell something of his experiences here.

"But," he added, "if our life then was simple, we were a- very happy family in those days. We had no strikes, no divisions. We lived frugally; we never locked our doors; and always felt in perfect safety. I suppose we were as simple and happy a. community as you might wish to find in those days.

"The churchmanship among the laity was of an old-fashioned type. The people brought out their old ideas and associations with them from England, and these ideas remained unchanged, these associations were revered long after they* had undergone changes in England. What is known as the Tractarian movement, or Catholic revival, did not reach the shores of New Zealand until some years later.

"The eynodical system was already in vogue in New Zealand when I came. . Although there were different schools of thought followed by the clergy, yet dur- ' ing the whole of my ministerial career there has been no party strife whatevei in this diocese, and almost uniformity of ritual, and that by no means extreme. Personally, I think it preferable to have uniformity of ritual, lor, although you may not get exactly what you like, I think uniformity is better than violent contrasts." EARLY WELLINGTON. There were some twelve or thirteen clergymen in Bishop Abraham's diocese when Archdeacon Fancourt arrived. Although the episcopal See did not include South Taranaki, it then took in Hawkes Bay. It- was a wide district, and in many parts* lonely one. "Apart from the surveyors," said Archdeacon, Fancourt, "I think I knew move about the.country tli3n any other man at that time. Travelling was long and arduous, and places were hidden away in the bush that had to be reached."

Archdeacon Fancourt was ill charge at Karori and Porirua up till 1870, when he was appointed to the charge of St. James, Lower Hutt, where he remained for fourteen years, 'when he was appointed ddocesan secretary, a post he retained until his death. In 1838 he was appointed Archdeacon. He was ordained priest (the first) in St. Paul's proCathedral in 1867. He was examining chaplain and Bishop's commissary to Bishops Hadfield and Wallis, and also to Bishop Sprott. He had had a largo experience of parochial work, both in the Hutt 'and Porirua districts, but the chief work of his ministry during the past thirty years vras devoted to organising the country districts, and this it was that had given him such an extensive geographical acquaintance with the Wellington provincial district.

"My health has never been very robust," said the Archdeacon, in conclusion of the interview, "and yet I have been spared to work vigorously for many long years—years not only of hard work, but of great joy and happiness. I would not exchange them for any others were I to begin my life over again." Archdeacon Fancourt has left,a family of one son (Mr. W. M. Fancourt, Vicar of St. Thomas's, Wellington South), and three daughters, Mrs. Harrison Fletcher (England], Mrs. Nevins (Annedale, Tenui), and Miss Fancourt (Wellington South). Mrs. Fancourt died some years ago.

The funeral will take place on Moriday. A service will be held in St. Paul's pro-Cathedral. The* interment will be made in the Bolton-street Cemetery.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19190201.2.18

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume XCVII, Issue 28, 1 February 1919

Word Count
739

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume XCVII, Issue 28, 1 February 1919

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