“The Rev.d Canon David Sansum— a Clerical Reminiscence

David in Action – Ripon 2013

A Farmer’s son— David’s voice always had something of a rural “timbre’ to it; when he answered the ‘phone his speech seemed to reflect the pace of life in the countryside, but his was a sharp intellect, matured at both school and University in Bristol.

David joined the Clerical Guild in 1965 and that is when I first met him. Taught to ring by Philip Gray who once said it was quite a challenge but patience was rewarded as David went on to ring 2000 peals— most clerical ringers have much more modest peal totals. When it came to ringing whether it be a peal, quarter or an outing, no distance was too far for David; in the course of his ringing life he must have chalked up a huge mileage in a somewhat ancient car. This may be an apocryphal story, but after one of his peals he remarked that during the ringing his feet had felt very uncomfortable; it was pointed out to him that each shoe was on the wrong foot!

Always stalwart of the Clerical Guild, he never missed the Annual Low Week tour. As an organist he always played the organ for the Guild Evensong, which normally took place at the last tower of the day– provided, of course, that the key of the organ could be found. When it came to the evening meal, David was a great one for puddings. I can not remember how the topic came up, but during one such evening meal, the subject of what we had done during our National Service days cropped up. David said to me, “I suppose you were an officer”!. When I said “Yes, I was”, he remarked “You can always tell” I am still not sure quite what that says about your truly.

Many are going to miss David and most certainly, the Clerical Guild is never going to be quite the same. However, we shall God willing, meet again in heaven.”

Prebendary Christopher Marshall