Tragic death of Vanessa Tinker, church ikonographer

We are sad to announce that Miss Vanessa Tinker, A.R.C.A., the ikonographer of the British Orthodox Church, has recently died at the age of 76 years.

Upon returning to London from Bournemouth last Sunday evening, Abba Seraphim received a message from a friend of Vanessa Tinker, expressing concern that she was not answering her telephone or personal calls to her house. She had been unwell and confined to bed for three days the previous week, so there was concern about her health. Accompanied by Father James, Abba Seraphim visited her home and, not receiving any answer, although the house lights were on, summoned the police, who made an enforced entry only to discover that she had died alone in her home. Abba Seraphim was called upon to identify her body, after which he and Fr. James called on her 98 year old mother, who lives nearby, to break the sad news and express their condolence.

Vanessa Tinker was a former member of the Blackheath Parish, who was baptised by Father Andrew Bateson  in 1974. Having studied at Goldsmith’s College and the Royal College of Art, she became an Art teacher and also founded the Glastonbury School of Ikonography. Apart from writing individual ikons, she also painted the ikonostasis of the Bournemouth Church in 1981 and that of the Cusworth Church in 1989.  Additionally she painted portraits of the late Metropolitan Georgius and of Abba Seraphim for the Church Secretariat

She had been actively involved in the church for many years and was highly regarded by both clergy and laity. The results of the post-mortem are still awaited, after which her funeral will then be arranged. News of her sudden death met with considerable sadness and many comments posted online by former pupils and friends spoke of her as “A lovely , gentle Person” and “A quiet and dignified lady.” One pupil wrote: “Vanessa was the most gentle, peaceful, softly spoken, graceful, wonderful lady I have ever known, a true rose in an imperfect world. Vanessa listened, rather than spoke, and wisely kept her own counsel. I never once heard her say a bad word about anyone or anything, she was a truly remarkable woman and I feel honoured to have known her. Vanessa often appeared very shy and reserved, yet somehow she exuded kindness and love seemingly without even trying. Vanessa’s smile was often enough to excuse the need for words: a lady at peace with herself, the world, and all those around her.”

Vanessa Tinker’s funeral service will be held at 11.45 am on Monday, 17 December at St. Thomas’s Church, corner of Maryon Road & Woodland Terrace, Charlton, SE7 8EN.

Vanessa Tinker: Memory Eternal !