The Diocese of Aberdeen has announced the death of Canon Bill Anderson, who passed away peacefully in Edinburgh on the 6th January, on the vigil of the feast of the Epiphany and the day before his 87th birthday.
Born in 1931, William RT Anderson (‘Bill’) was educated at George Watson’s School, Edinburgh and took a degree at Cambridge. He was a student at the Scots’ College in Rome, studying philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University and thereafter was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Edinburgh in 1960.
His connection with the Diocese of Aberdeen began through teaching at Blairs College when it was a Junior Seminary – teaching classics , although literature, poetry, and drama remained the scholarly loves of his life.
Bill was a member of the BBC Religious Affairs Dept from 1969-1977 and subsequently a Spiritual Director at the Scots College from 1977-1985. He taught again at Blairs during 1986 until its closure when he became Chaplain at Aberdeen University from 1986 to 1993. In 1991 he was ‘incardinated’ as a priest of the diocese of Aberdeen and was Administrator of the Cathedral from 1993 to 2000, being made a Cathedral Canon in 1996.
Bill was subsequently parish priest at St Francis, Mannofield, from 2000 then at Blairs parish from 2002. He also acted as a hospital chaplain and school chaplain, and taught Latin at the University in Aberdeen , also making himself available for private tuition. After his retirement, he often supplied in parishes. He also obtained a degree from Thames Valley University and was ‘Preacher of the Year’ , holding diplomas in speech and drama from three London colleges, and a Poetry Society’s Gold Medal for verse speaking. In 2010 he was the published author of ‘Words and the Word: The Use of Literature as a practical aid to Preaching’ (Gracewing). His fondness for cats was well-known.
The Bishop of Aberdeen, the Rt Rev Hugh Gilbert OSB said: “Bill was a gracious, erudite and sensitive priest, enjoying much affection and respect throughout his life, not least in helping many on their personal spiritual journeys.”