A much loved retired parish priest, described as ‘everybody’s friend’, has passed away while on holiday.
He was husband of Sheila, father to Ruth and Andrew and grandfather to Eleanor and Georgia. He died peacefully on September 29 while on holiday in Scotland, aged 77 years.
Canon Williams was known for his love of Chester FC and when conducting funeral services for fellow Blues supporters would often wear his club scarf as well as his clerical collar.
Rev Peter Lee, retired rector of St James’ Church, Christleton , where Canon Williams worshipped in retirement, spoke warmly of his dear friend and colleague.
”He was everybody’s friend,” said Rev Lee. “He was a people person but he was very much a committed church person and his ordination was central to his life. He very much believed in the traditional understanding of the parochial minister who was there for everyone in the parish, whoever they may be.
“He was supported very much by Sheila, his wife, they were very much a couple who supported each other.”
Rev Lee ‘benefited’ greatly from Canon Williams’ help and support when rector of St James’ Church, adding: “We both share a warped sense of humour!”
Speaking about Canon Williams’ love of Chester FC, he continued: “He gave his enthusiasm to a lot of things. It was a way of unwinding as well and a way to show support for his local team and local people. He often used to go with Canon Chris Samuels. They were partners in crime on the terraces.”
Canon Williams, whose father had also been a clergyman, was also proud of his Welsh roots. Ordained for 53 years, he served the whole of his ministry in the Diocese of Chester. He had previously served as vicar of Backford between 1974 and 1980, before the vicarage became the Hospice of the Good Shepherd . And he was Chester diocesan youth officer over the same period.
Barrie Hipkiss , honorary life president of Chester FC, said: “He was a true gentleman. You couldn’t meet a nicer chap than Peris. Over all the years I have been involved with Chester Football Club he has never bypassed me, he always had time for me. And I always got a Christmas card from him and his wife. They were a lovely couple.
“I know he was a man of the cloth and if all the clergymen were like him, I think the churches would be full. He was a friend of everybody. I will miss him a lot.”
Paying tribute, Blacon Cllr Reggie Jones said: “It’s a tremendous loss. Peris was not only a great Chester fan – something close to my heart – but also a great community activist and during his tenure in Blacon worked closely with other churches to help create the One Voice for Blacon forum and to build relationships in our community. He’s a great loss. And he was simply a lovely man.
“As ward councillors, our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Canon Williams’ funeral takes place at St James’ Church, Christleton, on Wednesday October 12, at 1pm, followed by private committal at Chester Crematorium. Family flowers only are requested with any donations to Christian Aid and St James’ Church.