Bishop Thomas Stanage, RIP
The Right Revd Thomas (Tom) Shaun Stanage, formerly Bishop of the Diocese of Bloemfontein (since renamed the Diocese of the Free State), died on March 19.
Bishop Tom was born in Ireland in 1932 and was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford. He served in South Africa from 1970, becoming Dean of Kimberley in the 1970s. There he became known as the “Flying Dean” – he was a trained pilot who flew a light aircraft.
He was later elected Suffragan Bishop in Johannesburg and was translated to Bloemfontein in 1982.
Known for his opposition to the ordination of women, he and the Revd Wilma Jakobsen, then a deacon from the Diocese of Cape Town, charmed members of Provincial Synod in 1992 when, after the Synod decided to ordain women as priests, they sat down at a piano and played a duet together. Wilma was ordained priest a few months later.
After retiring, Bishop Tom lectured in theology at the University of the Free State. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa from Nashotah House in 1986.
(With acknowledgements to Sandy Botha of Bloemfontein and Wikipedia)