The former Bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt, has died after a long illness. Following his death on 27 Sept 2014, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the church had “lost a faithful, hard working and distinguished servant”.
“With his ability to grasp detail and a remarkable stamina, he fulfilled all the demands made of him with a willingness that made him highly respected, not only in the church but far beyond,” Archbishop Welby said. “He was not afraid to say what he believed, even when he knew those views might not be popular. But all this he did from his deep faith and after much careful prayer.”
A strong supporter of traditional marriage, Bishop Scott-Joynt was the Church of England’s spokesman on constitutional affairs in the House of Lords, opposing the liberalization of English law on civil partnerships, marriage and the redefinition of sexuality. Yet he also chaired the committee which, in 2000, urged the church to change its ban on the remarriage of divorced persons whose former spouse was still alive, provided there had been nothing scandalous in their conduct.
Bishop Scott-Joynt was also an early and steady supporter of the Anglican Church in North America. In a statement given to Anglican Ink, the former Archbishop of the ACNA, the Most Rev. Robert Duncan said:
“Michael Scott-Joynt was a very dear friend. Nara and I enjoyed a two-and-a-half hour lunch with him and Lou, his beloved wife, just a month ago. He was in good spirits, doing a course of radiation-therapy, and trusting the Lord, as always. We met the Scott-Joynts at Brighton, following one of his treatments.
Bishop Michael was a gracious and kind warrior for Christ. He championed both Christian orthodoxy and the Church in the Global South, especially East Africa and Burma. His speeches in the House of Lords were as likely to plead for the preservation of Christian marriage as they were to seek support of the war-torn Congo.
When Michael retired as Bishop of Winchester I was invited to be one of those who spoke at the retirement service in his Cathedral. More than a few eyebrows were raised! This was post-deposition by the Episcopal Church. I also shared in confirmations that weekend. This was a friend.
Please pray for Lou, their three children, spouses and grandchildren. His retirement at Easter House, near Chichester, was all too short. When I talked to Lou, on hearing of Michael’s death, plans for services were still unsettled. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”
Michael Charles Scott-Joynt was born on 15 March 1943 and was educated at Bradfield College and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he read Classics and Theology, taking a First in the latter. He trained for the ministry at Cuddesdom Theological College and in 1967 became Tutor, then Chaplain, of the College as well as curate of the parish.
In 1972 he became a Team Vicar at Newbury and in 1975 moved to Bicester becoming Area Team Rector in 1979. He then moved, in 1982, to become a Canon of St Albans Cathedral and Director of Ordinands for the diocese.
In 1987 he was appointed suffragan Bishop of Stafford in the Diocese of Lichfield and in 1995 at the age of 52 was appointed Bishop of Winchester and Prelate of the Order of the Garter. On his retirement in 2011 he became an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Portsmouth. He is survived by his wife, Louise, two sons and a daughter.