Lord Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, led tributes to the late founder of CHIPS, Roy Calvocoressi, OBE, at a packed memorial service last week in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.
In his address, the former archbishop challenged all present to take up the baton of gratitude to God that had prompted Roy into his remarkable witness. He commented afterwards that “there was a strong sense that Roy did what he did out of a … confidence that God had already made peace and what we had to do was make it visible.”
He said Roy’s special contribution was in the priority he gave to risky face-to-face involvement in building relationships in conflict situations, ”All peacemaking initiatives need people who are prepared to do that face-to-face brokering and to be visible signs that there is more than one story to be told and none of them the only right one.
Led by Revd Richard Carter, the service began with a tribute from Roger Sawtell, former Chairman of Traidcraft and founder of the Daily Bread Co-operative, who spoke of Roy's work at 31 Green Street and his part in founding Traidcraft, Langley House Trust, and many other organisations. This was followed by CHIPS' new Director Paul Rose who recounted snippets of Roy's remarkable work founding and leading CHIPS for 46 years.
Elfrida Calvocoressi, CHIPS Trustee and widow of Roy, gave a moving tribute from the family's perspective, drawing together the various threads of Roy's life to give a full view of the fascinating diversity of his service in God's Kingdom.
We thank all of you who prayed for the service, attended, supported and enabled all of this to come together.