Michael Fisher (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Brother Michael
SSF
Bishop of St Germans
Diocese Diocese of Truro
In office 1979–1985
Predecessor Richard Rutt
Successor Richard Llewellin
Other posts Bishop to HM Prisons
Orders
Ordination 1954
Consecration 1979
Personal details
Birth name Reginald Lindsay Fisher
Born (1918-04-06)6 April 1918
Streatham, London
Died 5 December 2003(2003-12-05) (aged 85)
Cambridge, England
Nationality English
Denomination Anglican

Brother Michael SSF (Michael Fisher; born Reginald Lindsay Fisher; 6 April 1918 – 5 December 2003) was the second Anglican Bishop of St Germans[1] in the modern era.

Early life and education

Fisher was born on 6 April 1918 in Streatham, London, and educated in Clapham. In 1978, he was awarded a Lambeth MA by the Archbishop of Canterbury.[2]

Religious life

Fisher entered the Anglican Society of Saint Francis (SSF) in 1944 and took Michael as his religious name.[3]

Ordained ministry

Fisher was ordained in 1954[4] after studying at Westcott House, Cambridge. He worked initially with the Student Christian Movement and was, successively, the Guardian of Alnmouth Friary, Minister General of the Society of Saint Francis[5] and general secretary of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG). Fisher was consecrated a suffragan bishop in 1979.[6]

Involvement with abuse

A 2016 Church of England enquiry reported that in 1978 Fisher had behaved inappropriately when a young man approached him concerning sadistic abuse that he had suffered from another clergyman. Fisher initiated an "intense romantic relationship" with the young man, who told the enquiry that he felt that it was not the right response to a young man looking for help. He commented:

[It] added another layer to the complexity of abuse. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that this charismatic figure was abusing me spiritually and emotionally.[7][8]

Subsequent ministry

For a brief period Fisher deputised for the Bishop of Truro when Graham Leonard was translated to be the Bishop of London. He retired in 1985, serving subsequently as Minister General of the Society of St Francis.

In the last part of his life he lived at the Franciscans' house in Cambridge where he had a ministry as adviser and spiritual director to a large number of people and regularly celebrated and preached at St Bene't's Church. He published his memoirs, For the Time Being, in 1993 as Michael Fisher SSF (combining his name in religion with his surname).[9]

His latter years were dogged by recurrent tuberculosis and he died on 5 December 2003.[10][11]

References

  1. ^ Staff (1991). "Who was Who" 1897–2007. London, UK: A & C Black. ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7. 
  2. ^ The Times, 1 September 1978; p. 14; Issue 60395; col C
  3. ^ Crockford's Clerical Drectory: Entry Reginald Lindsay (Br Michael) Fisher.
  4. ^ Staff (1976). Crockford's Clerical Directory (86th ed.). London, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-200008-X. 
  5. ^ Staff. "RIP: Michael SSF". franciscans.org.uk. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Crockford's Clerical Drectory: Entry Reginald Lindsay (Br Michael) Fisher.
  7. ^ "'I told so many bishops': survivor tells of system that protected priest". The Guardian. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Church of England figures ignored 'sadistic' abuse of 15-year-old boy by senior priest for 40 years, report says The Independent
  9. ^ Fisher, Michael (1993). For the Time Being. Leominster, UK: Gracewing. ISBN 0852442424. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Staff (9 December 2003). "The Right Reverend Michael Fisher". The Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Staff (16 December 2003). "The Right Rev Michael Fisher, SSF". The Times. London, UK. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Richard Rutt
Bishop of St Germans
1979 –1985
Succeeded by
Richard Llewellin
Preceded by
John Cavell
Bishop to HM Prisons
1985
Succeeded by
Robert Hardy


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