Many of you will know Dori Rockefeller and some will have attended the course of lectures on the Passion narratives she gave at Sarum College during Lent.

She left to return to the United States just after Easter, earlier than she had planned, to attend the memorial service of Reginald Fuller. A dear friend and teacher, he died at the age of 92 in his home in Richmond, Virginia.

I was delighted and honoured, when preaching and leading a quiet weekend in Virginia a few years ago, to meet this delightful, courteous man, whose gentle, unassuming way belied his formidable learning.

For R H Fuller was, for theologians and clergy of my generation, a name to conjure with in the galaxy of Anglican theologians.

He was British and was ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1942. After Cambridge, he studied at the German university renowned for its biblical radicalism at Tübingen.

He went on to be Professor at St David's College, Lampeter, before moving to the United States in 1956 where he taught at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and then at Union Theological Seminary (New York) and finally at Virginia Theological Seminary.

His output of short but profound, well-researched and beautifully written books on a range of New Testament subjects became the staple diet of theologians and priests-in-training on both sides of the Atlantic and influenced, through their paperback availability, thinking, curious and questioning Christians, who wanted to be better informed and more deeply motivated about their faith.

I still recommend "What is liturgical preaching?" and "The Use of the Bible in preaching" to those who preach. And though New Testament studies never stand still, and Fuller's approach reflects the radicalism of Bultmann and the other theologians of the Tübingen school, I still return with profit to his The Foundations of New Testament Christology and A Critical Introduction to the New Testament.

In a time when theology, alas, is being allowed to slip into the backwater of our religious understanding and our reading of scripture (despite the wide-ranging and challenging theological contributions of the Archbishop of Canterbury), it is a moment to salute the memory of a great British theologian who, maybe, found the intellectual stimulus of the American academy more challenging and congenial than the comfort zone of British theology.

Jeremy Davies Canon Precentor