It is with regret that we announce the death of Father Michael Robson at Morden College, Blackheath, on 17 October 2014. Father Michael had been suffering from bronchitis for a few days and had been unable to attend the celebration of the Orthodox Liturgy in Morden College Chapel on 7 October, although Abba Seraphim and Subdeacon Michael Kennedy took Holy Communion to him and he also received the anointing for the sick. His health deteriorated suddenly the morning of his death and he died peacefully in the afternoon.
Father Michael was born in Manchester in 1933 and was ordained a celibate priest in 1978. His secular work had been as working for a number of charities, concluding with running a Christian Retreat Centre in Kent, which he did for twenty-five years until his retirement in 1998. For a number of years he served as a General Priest, assisting with services in London, but he began to host occasional services of the North Kent Mission, which eventually grew into the Chatham Parish. He served faithfully as its first priest until poor health forced him to retire in 2009. When he became too frail to travel to church services, arrangements were made to hold services at Morden College, since when they have been celebrated there regularly.
On 20 February Father Silas Spear flew into London on a stop-over for his traditional three-month visit to St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Kitchener, Ontario, where he assists Father Athanasius Iskander. Abba Seraphim was at the airport to meet him and take him back to the Church Secretariat at Charlton. After a brief rest he accompanied Abba Seraphim and Father Peter Farrington to the meeting at St. George’s-in-the-East at Shadwell. On 21 February Father Silas accompanied Abba Seraphim to Morden College at Blackheath to visit Father Michael Robson, who was delighted to see him. Whilst there Father Silas also visited the College Chapel and met with Father Nick Woodcock, the College chaplain.
Father Michael Robson suffered a fall on 3 February during which he fractured the pubic bone in his pelvis and was admitted to hospital for treatment before returning to Morden College. He has since developed a chest infection which is causing some concern and on Friday evening, 4 February Abba Seraphim, attended by the chaplain of Morden College, Father Nick Woodcock, visited him and administered Holy Unction. Although in some pain and sedated, Father Michael was alert and able to follow and join in the prayers.
Only on Tuesday morning, 1 February, Abba Seraphim, assisted by Father Peter Farrington and Subdeacon Dr. Michael Kennedy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Chapel of Morden College. Father Michael was not well enough to attend but afterwards Holy Communion was taken to him in his room and he was able to enjoy a time of fellowship with some of those present.
Your prayers are asked for Father Michael, who is in his 78th year.
Father Michael Robson celebrated his 77th birthday at Callum Welch Court, the nursing home attached to Morden College at Blackheath. Although physically frail he remains in good spirits and enjoys opportunities to meet old friends. He is much loved and respected at Morden College and although he was not well enough to attend the Liturgy when Abba Seraphim last celebrated it in the college chapel on 24 August, many other members of the college attended and prayed for him. For his birthday, Father Michael had several visitors and was busily occupied opening the many cards and greetings received. Abba Seraphim, returning from the Liturgy at Babingley, brought him Holy Communion and prayed with him and gave him the latest news of the church.
The next Morden College Liturgy will be on 12 October (see the Calendar for details).