We first heard John Stott preach in the late 1960’s on a visit to my parents in London. Although they lived in Richmond, they often went to London to hear this great modern preacher, and of course took us to hear him at All Souls Langham Place where he was Rector. www.allsouls.org Subsequently whenever we visited London we went to hear him and on one occasion in the pre-internet days brought home a small suitcase of cassettes of John Stott and other preachers at All Souls, preaching.
What I remember most about Dr Stott was his commanding presence and the way he dissected, like a brilliant surgeon, a text or passage from the bible. Examples of this occur in every reading in his book Through the Bible, Through the Year. This is a most informative, challenging and interesting “daily reading” (for want of a better word). It came out after his retirement during a stay in London and naturally we brought copies home for ourselves and the family! It’s a wonderful Christian gift book for new Christians, for long-
established Christians, and for those wanting to learn the essence of Christianity. Another recommendation is his Basic Christianity.
Here are some quotes from tributes after his death from the Rectors who followed him at All Souls:
Michael Baughen, Vicar and Rector of All Souls, Langham Place, London from 1970-1982. “Vast numbers of us, all over the world, from African village to American penthouse, feel we have lost a father, a brother, a counsellor, a friend, a model, a teacher, a strategist…”
Richard Bewes, Rector of All Souls 1983-2004. “Many honours were heaped on him…but he bore them lightly. There were no prestigious photographs on display in his flat, and on a couple of occasions when his flat was burgled, nothing was taken – there was nothing to steal…”
Hugh Palmer, Present Rector 2005-. “John came to the church (All Souls) as a child…he was to spend more than fifty years as Curate, Rector, Rector Emeritus in a remarkable ministry here….No one could have asked for a more supportive former Rector in their congregation.”
The All Souls website www.allsouls.org has hundreds of his sermons on its free sermon library, read the Tributes on it, Search: Resources - Media - John Stott.
What an example John Stott was of a selfless, committed and very hard working Christian who had no thought of self-gain!