Memories of the smile of a “true Christian gentleman” remain with clergy who have paid tribute to the life and work of Bishop Graham Walden.
The Anglican Bishop of the Murray from 1989 to 2001 before he retired to Dubbo died on November 27, aged 86.
Bishop of Bathurst Ian Palmer said: “Bishop Graham was a very special man.”
“He was a true Christian gentleman,” he said.
“He showed practical hospitality and generosity, and always gratitude for whatever little things others did for him.
“His smile in the nursing home lit up the faces of all who attended him.
“He always thanked the staff for whatever small service they gave.
“He did not complain.”
Bishop Palmer, who makes his home at Dubbo, recalled Bishop Walden’s faith in action.
He had prayed for people, their names recorded on lists he kept that covered pages in notebooks and he frequently asked after the people for whom he prayed, Bishop Palmer said.
The leader of the diocese also told of the impact Bishop Walden had on his life.
“Just as our Lord was so real to him so he brought grace to my life and to others,” Bishop Palmer said.
Holy Trinity Dubbo honorary deacon assistant Ray Tickle will deliver the eulogy at the funeral service on Friday at 11am.
He considered he was “given a gift from God in the form of Bishop Graham”.
He said he had the privilege of sitting with the bishop for two hours each week for the past six years.
“Can you imagine what that was like, this poorly-educated deacon being mentored by an Oxford-educated bishop with the most beautiful smile, there was nothing I couldn’t ask, there was nothing he wouldn’t tell me.”