Rt. Revd. John Edward Brown 1930-2011

Third Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf


John Edward Brown who was born on 13th July 1930, died on 23rd October 2011 after a life of service in the Anglican Church. He was educated at Wintringham Grammar School in Grimsby and was ordained in 1956 following his training at Kelham Theological College. He began his long association with the Middle East as chaplain at St George’s Cathedral Jerusalem where he was also a master at the attached school. On his return to England he served a curacy in Reading and in 1960 began a four year term in Sudan, then a part of the Middle East province. Back in England he was Vicar of Stewkley and later Rural Dean of Sonning before being made Archdeacon of Berkshire in 1978. Nine years later he was made Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf where he served until his retirement in 1995. In retirement he was an honorary assistant bishop in Lincoln diocese. The funeral service was held in Cleethorpes, his home town.

Bishop John will be remembered for establishing interfaith dialogue before it was common or fashionable. He had good working relations with the Shaikh of Ras al-Khaimah, with the Mufti of Oman, the Crown Prince of Kuwait and the rulers in the Emirates. One of his achievements was negotiating with the Grand Mufti of the Yemen the return of the garrison church which had been requisitioned when the British withdrew in 1967. He promised the church would build a clinic to serve the people and the Grand Mufti issued a fatwa that Christians should be permitted to worship freely ‘just as Moslems do in Britain’.

In his retirement Bishop John continued to write and lecture about Christian/Moslem relations and he published ‘A Way in the Wilderness’ a guide to encourage prayer for the Middle East. He is survived by his wife Rosemary and son Richard.