The Revd Wallace Bolton before and after his ordination and installment as Guide Chaplain

Obituary: Revd Wallace Boulton

Here at St Bride’s we are very sad to share the news of the death of Revd Wallace Boulton on Wednesday 27th April.

Wallace had a long relationship with St Bride’s that began in the early ’70s and spanned the tenure of four rectors.

As a teenager, Wallace was keen to get into journalism, and after dropping out of sixth form, he managed to secure a job as a junior in the PR department of the London Press Exchange. In those days, the small team seemed to most of their work from the pub around the corner. The news editor took a fatherly interest in the young Wallace, and provided him with the opportunity to write his first story. The dry material of the NSPCC annual report was daunting, but with encouragement from the editor, he found an angle which ended up giving the cub reporter some national coverage.

National Service intervened but when he came back to Fleet Street, Wallace found work in industrial journalism and went on to become head of publicity for an international group of chemical companies.

In the mid-1960s he experienced a call to the ordained ministry, and was ordained in 1967 and made the Honorary Curate of St Bride’s in 1971 when Dewi Morgan was the incumbent. After a stint as publicity secretary of the Church Missionary Society he became editor of the Church of England Newspaper in 1986.

Wallace and Marian lived at Hastings on the south coast, from where on most Sundays he would travel by train up to St Bride’s to take part in Choral Evensong. In 1970, he became a Guild Chaplain and remains the longest standing Chaplain.

Dewi Morgan’s successor Canon John Oates remembers Wallace fondly: “I thank God for all I learned from Wallace. His thoughtfulness, utter dependability and quiet strength, combined with the quality of his preaching, will be an abiding memory of all his friends at St Bride’s.”

The Venerable David Meara, Rector from 2000-2014 writes “I greatly valued Wallace as a colleague, admired his preaching, and grew to value his gentle wisdom and kindness. He held a strong Christian faith, formed in the evangelical tradition, and was always keen to relate that to his work in the media world. Although his latter years were dogged by ill health, he came to all the major Guild events until the final year of his life. He was a man of lively faith and great compassion, and it was a privilege to know him. May he rest in peace.”

The present rector of St Bride’s, Canon Alison Joyce, remembers him with immense affection: “Wallace was always one of our most dedicated Guild Chaplains, and we have all benefited from his thoughtful and reflective addresses, and from his personal warmth and kindness. This year was the first time that he had been unable to attend our annual Guild Sunday service, due to his increasing frailty – but we remembered him by name on that occasion, and he was certainly with us in spirit. He will be very greatly missed by all who knew him here.”

Wallace is survived by his wife Marian and son Mark.

Posted On: Friday 1st May, 2020

congregation sitting for service


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