The Rev. Robin Sinclair Ferguson 1931-2021
Robin was born in Putney on 26th April 1931 to Gordon and Rosemary Ferguson and brought up in Reigate. He was educated at Coniston then Hillside, Reigate then boarded at St Peter’s, Seaford from the age of eight. His school was evacuated to North Devon from 1940-1944 and during that time he lived with a local family.
He joined Marlborough in 1944 as a full boarder and has memories of swimming in the unheated outdoor pool which could have been the start of his love of sea and river swimming. Not being very sporty he enjoyed cycle rides in the local area, something he continued to enjoy into his mid-eighties. In 1947 he was taken out of school to sail to Buenos Aires with his parents and sister aboard a cargo ship carrying refrigerated meat. The trip was arranged by his father who worked in the coal shipping business.
On leaving school he completed 18 months of national service in the army before reading Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford and graduated in 1953 with a BA Hons. In 1955 he became an Associate of the London College of Divinity and obtained an MA in 1957. He spent a year of his theological training at Wycliffe College, Toronto.
He was ordained Deacon in 1957 and priest in 1958. His first Curacy from 1957-60 was at Holy Trinity Brompton. He lived in the attic of the large vicarage and met his future wife, Patricia, niece of the vicar Pat Gilliat, who was lodging in the basement. He worked as a Priest at St. Matthew’s Brixton from 1960-63 as well as obtaining a Certificate of Education from London University and went on to have curacies in Brixton, Framlingham, Haverhill, and Richmond. He was also the school Chaplain in Richmond and taught full-time in Haverhill and Richmond.
He worked as an Education Welfare Officer for Wandsworth from 1974-76 followed by a summer term teaching in Westbrook Hay in Hemel Hempstead.From 1976-87 he was priest-in-charge of Shillingstone, Dorset, a role which encompassed both Chaplain and Teacher at Croft House School, including teaching three of his daughters. From 1987-96 he was Rector of Milton Abbas, Hilton, Cheselbourne and Melcombe Bingham Churches.
He and Tricia retired to Wareham in 1996 and became very involved in the local churches. He continued to officiate until his late eighties and was Chaplain of Wareham Hospital. They volunteered for the National Trust at Corfe Castle for over 20 years. He was widowed in 2018 and continued to be involved in lots of activities. He loved spending time with his 4 daughters and 10 grandchildren.
He died suddenly but peacefully on 12th December 2021.