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Canon Stephen Maslen, former Lambeth priest, dies aged 78

Canon Stephen Maslen, curate-in-charge of St Mary at Lambeth when the ancient church closed in 1972, has died at the age of 78.

After the last rector, Oliver Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, left in 1968 it was decided to declare the church next to Lambeth Palace redundant due to the cost of restoration.

In 1972 Bishop of Southwark Mervyn Stockwood led the congregation along Lambeth Road to form a partnership with local Methodists at Lambeth Mission & St Mary's.

The last hymn sung at the old church was Thy hand, O God, Has Guided.

At the time Stephen Maslen was the Anglican priest appointed to oversee the move.

The old St Mary's building is now the Garden Museum.

Stephen Maslen, based at the Lambeth Mission, stayed for seven years becaming team vicar in the North Lambeth Team Ministry.

Afterwards he served in three Southwark Diocese parishes and in 1995 he became an honorary canon of Southwark Cathedral.

On Sunday the North Lambeth parish recalled Stephen Maslen with a tribute: "He was a wonderfully astute, gentle, patient and prayerful man and guided us through the early days of the partnership as well as the early days of the new parish (Parish of North Lambeth as it was originally called) when it was formed in 1974 with St Philip's and St Anselm's."

The funeral is at Bredon Parish Church in Worcestershire on Friday 26 February at 2pm.

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