John Hester

A recent obituary in the Telegraph of Canon John Hester of Chichester Cathedral. He is of interest here on account of his involvement with drama and the theatre: he was from 1963 to 1975 senior chaplain of the Actors’ Church Union, an intriguing and under-documented group who acted as chaplains and advocates on behalf of those in the theatrical business. Hester was at the same time rector of Soho, and thus on the doorstep of the West End theatres. (St Anne’s Soho had previously had as a churchwarden one Dorothy L. Sayers, incidentally).
He also was connected with the Religious Drama Society (on which I’ve been doing a little work recently) editing their journal Christian Drama. His later connection with Chichester, and with the Chichester Festival Theatre, connects his story obliquely with another figure, Walter Hussey, former Dean, who was in close touch with the Festival Theatre in its early years (although their tenures at the cathedral did not overlap.)

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