I was saddened this morning to learn of the death of the Revd. Dr. Edgar Dowse (right), a regular preacher at my Church, at the age of 99.
Dr. Dowse was an amazing fellow. The depth of his theological knowledge was astounding, and despite having long retired from vicarial duties at his own (Anglican) Church he would preach every month to our congregation right up until very recently. Although it had become increasingly obvious that his physical strength was failing, mentally he remained as sharp as ever and each sermon was delivered with as much passion and gusto as the last.
His Anglican background notwithstanding, Dr. Dowse was always comfortable at our (Nonconformist) Church. He always made it clear that he would preach "wherever I am invited".
In 2004, at the young age of 93, he entered the Guinness Book of Records after having become the oldest person in the world to gain a PhD. It was his seventh degree. When I asked him why he had done it he joked that it would be "good for my career".
Dr. Dowse lived in College Road, Isleworth, almost directly opposite the house of my birth. His interests were trains, and reading Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.