WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2006-07 > 1154170637
From: "Peter_McCrae" <>
Subject: WARDROBE: Bevan Wardrobe--d.11/7/2006>UK
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 11:57:17 +0100
The Reverend Bevan Wardrobe
The Reverend Bevan Wardrobe, who died on July 11 aged 80, made an important
contribution to the education of the choristers of York Minster, then became
a popular Anglican chaplain in Rome.
When, in 1967, he became headmaster of the Minster Song School, as the
12th-century foundation was then called, he found its accommodation and much
else inadequate. He adapted the existing premises to create more usable
space and eventually took over part of the Minster's precincts for
additional classrooms, a library and an arts room.
Instrumental tuition was raised to a high standard; an orchestra of 21
players under a director of music was formed; and the school was given
recognition by the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools.
In common with all choir school heads, Wardrobe found himself juggling with
a complicated timetable designed to meet the differing requirements of
choristers and non-choristers; but his own involvement in the leadership of
the Minster's worship, as one of three vicars choral, greatly helped in the
making of fine judgments.
As a schoolmaster he believed in the importance of firm discipline, and as a
churchman he believed no less fervently in the importance of the Book of
Common Prayer. But he understood boys, and also York's successive
distinguished deans and organists, with all of whom he worked closely and
Shortly before his retirement from the school in 1984 the Minster was struck
by lightning and its south transept engulfed by a major fire. (Some
attributed the catastrophe to divine intervention, since it followed the
consecration there the week before of the liberal Bishop of Durham, David
The school itself was undamaged but the choristers' practice room was cut
off and all the books and music it contained had to be hurriedly transferred
to another room to enable rehearsals to continue uninterrupted for services
in a nearby parish church; by the following Sunday, the choristers were back
in the Minster.
Bevan Wardrobe was born at Hull on May 10 1926. He attended local schools,
and in 1944 joined the Royal Engineers, serving in Northern Ireland and Hong
Kong. He was for a time organist of the church in Kowloon and, although
brought up in a Free Church tradition, became an Anglican through the
influence of a services chaplain, Maurice Wood, a future Bishop of Norwich.
On demobilisation Wardrobe went to Hatfield College, Durham, to read History
and English, then to Cuddesdon Theological College before becoming, in 1954,
a curate at Christ Church, Southgate, in north London. After five years he
moved to Lichfield, where he taught at St Chad's Cathedral School, and was
dean's vicar, and later sub-chanter, of the cathedral.
On moving to Rome in 1985 he ensured that the worship in All Saints' Church
was well ordered. A fine singer and an accomplished pianist, he offered
sensitive pastoral care to a mainly transient congregation and established
warm friendships at the Vatican and in the city while dealing effectively
with what had been a precarious financial situation.
The final years of his full-time ministry were spent as chaplain at San Remo
on the Italian Riviera, where the Anglicans and Roman Catholics shared a
building and where he again exercised a much valued ministry. His retirement
years were spent mainly in Cheltenham and for some years he assisted at
|WARDROBE: Bevan Wardrobe--d.11/7/2006>UK by "Peter_McCrae" <>|