Dennis Popple

Dennis Popple was born in Yorkshire, England in 1931, and died in Richmond B.C. in April of this year. A memorial service in Christ Church Cathedral celebrated his life and ministry.

He served for many years in the British Merchant Navy; served as second officer and a Master Mariner. This was immediately before he entered St. Aidan's Theological College in the UK.

Apart from a brief curacy in Manchester, England, his entire ministry was spent in our diocese as chaplain to The Mission to Seamen, parish priest, administrative archdeacon, and latterly as interim priest in a number of parishes.

I first met Dennis when we attended summer school at The Anglican Theological College back in the sixties and we have remained friends from that time. After I had come to this diocese, and changes were needing to be made in the Synod Office, Dennis was the obvious choice to share my ministry as Administrative Archdeacon.

His was an unassuming ministry; strong in pastoral sensitivity, encouraging rather than directing. With the other archdeacons, Bill Stephens, Louis Rivers, Jack Major and Ian Grant, Dennis gave strong leadership in enabling the parishes to discover a sense of community as The Diocese of New Westminster.

He was tireless and patient in his readiness to help a congregation work through some experienced difficulty. At the same time he was firm as he urged people to engage in their mission, and was even heard to say that "Whining never solves problems".

In Dennis there was a deep sense of joy. This was not the "life is always fun" kind of joy. It went much deeper than that. It came from his love for his family, for Anne his wife and for Helen his daughter. It came from his love of life itself, and it came from the living faith that motivated his whole life.

Dennis will be greatly missed. He touched many lives and he touched just about every parish in the diocese, and every aspect of diocesan life.

I will miss a very dear friend.