A tribute to the Revd Professor Alan Sell

We are deeply saddened to report the death of the Revd Professor Alan Sell. He died peacefully, content, and with great dignity on Sunday 7 February in Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes.

Alan was one of the United Reformed Church's most acute and distinguished thinkers and writers. He served in our ministry from 1959, starting in pastorate in Westmorland (as it then was) and Worcestershire, and going on to theological teaching posts in the West Midlands, Canada and Aberystwyth, along with some years' service as Theological Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

He published about 30 books, exploring the story of our Reformed tradition, and bringing Christian thought into conversation with some major voices in philosophy.

Yet within all this Alan remained deeply committed to the friendships and people of the URC. He was a generous encourager of the many ministers he knew, and a helpful and creative contributor to church debate.

Always he remembered – and often reminded us – that the Church is God's work. It rests on God's good news. That same sense of dependence on God sustained Alan through his months of final illness.

The Revd John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church

A service of thanksgiving will be held at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone, Saxon Gate, Milton Keynes at 2.15pm on 3 March.