Lady Runcie tributes

St Albans mourns a “delightful lady”

TRIBUTES have been paid to Lady Runcie, the widow of the late Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Runcie, who has died at the age of 79.

Rosalind Runcie, a well-known classical pianist who lived in St Albans with her late husband, the Bishop of St Albans from 1970 to 1980, died last Thursday, January 12.

The current Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith, paid tribute to Lady Runcie, describing her as having a wealth of stories and anecdotes and being “enormous fun”.

He added: “Playing piano duets with Lindy was one of the unexpected bonuses of coming to the Diocese of St Albans.

“I also discovered the extent of the network of her friendships one evening when she came to dinner. Not only did she already know most of my guests, but she even knew the Italian Archbishop who had flown in that morning and was staying with me.”

Rt Rev Smith went on: “Despite living in the grandeur of Lambeth Palace and mixing with the great and the good she was allergic to pretension and pomposity.

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“She kept her feet firmly on the ground, saying that one of the gifts of teaching children to play the piano is that they were not interested in who she was, just whether she could teach well. Her wide circle will miss her and her zest for life.”

Canon Tony Hurle, Vicar of St Paul’s Church, St Albans, the parish in which the Runcies lived after moving back to the city from Lambeth Palace in 1991, also paid tribute to Lady Runcie.

He said: “Lindy was a delightful lady who, while worshipping at the Abbey, always took an interest in St Paul’s and how we were faring.

“She provided tremendous support to her husband Robert, both as Bishop of St Albans and as Archbishop of Canterbury, as well has having a considerable ministry in her own right. She was much loved and will be very much missed.”