Tributes to past vicar of Halifax

Canon Robert Gibson with his wife Mary
Canon Robert Gibson with his wife Mary

A family have paid tribute to a former vicar of Halifax after he died earlier in the month.

Canon Robert Gibson, 88, died on February 11 following a short illness.

Canon Robert Gibson

Canon Robert Gibson

Canon Gibson stood at the heart of the church in Halifax for 11 years, before retiring to Hutton Buscel, North Yorkshire, in 1994.

Born in South Kensington, London, he was educated in St-Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, and Winchester College, Hampshire.

He later studied History at Wadham College, Oxford University, before being ordained in 1953.

Following his ordainment he took up a number of positions across the country - he was curate at St Alfrege Church, Greenwich, before becoming head of the South London Industrial Mission.

He then took charge of All Hallows by the Tower - the oldest church in the City of London - for one year in 1968 while waiting to see if he could take up his appointment as Dean of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

This was eventually deemed to be impossible as a result of the Biafran War. Canon Gibson then became Rector of St Nicholas, Guisborough, in 1969 before settling in Halifax in 1983, where he was appointed vicar of Halifax.

And in 1985, he was named Canon of Wakefield Cathedral.

Canon Gibson’s son, Geoffrey, said: “He spoke very fondly of his time in Halifax. He helped to establish the church’s link with Aachen, Germany, and that was a very important part of his time in the town.”

He was also the chair of governors at Holy Trinity School, was a member of the Rotary Club of Halifax as well as the the Loyal Georgians.

Canon Gibson and his wife Mary retired to their home near Scarborough in 1994, where he was still heavily involved in church life.

Geoffrey added: “He had a very full life, was always the life and soul of any gathering and he will be much loved and remembered.”

He leaves wife Mary, four children, 12 granchildren and one great grandchild.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at St Helen and All Saints’ Church, Wykeham, Scarborough on Saturday, March 14, at 3pm.