Oliver William Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, Dean Emeritus of Lincoln, has died aged 85 on the evening of Wednesday, June 8, following a short stay in Lincoln County hospital.
He is survived by two daughters and two sons, and his funeral service will take place on Tuesday, June 21, at 2pm in Lincoln Cathedral.
Born on May 17 1926, Oliver was the younger son of the 20th Baron Saye and Sele, within the walls of the Palace of Westminster, where his Grandfather was an official of the House of Commons.
With a father in the armed forces, Oliver spent a good deal of his early years travelling, before education at Eton College and New College, Oxford. Ordained in 1954, he became Chaplain of Clifton College in 1958, and subsequently Rector of Lambeth in 1963.
Oliver was made Dean of Lincoln in 1969, a position which he held for exactly 20 years. Appointed at the early age of 43, he was in many ways ahead of his time, championing initiatives often in the face of strong opposition.
He also fostered the development of international and ecumenical links in Europe and North America, accompanying the Magna Carta on a tour of the USA, meeting then president Ronald Reagan, whom he described as “a very intelligent man, who really knew about Magna Carta.”
Following the death of his wife Juliet in 2009, Oliver moved from their home in the village of Colsterworth to Vicars’ Court, Lincoln, where he again engaged in the daily worship of his old Cathedral.
The Very Revd Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, paid tribute to Oliver as a pioneer in what was later to become the revival of cathedral life in the Church as a whole.
“It was for us a great delight and privilege to be able to welcome him back into Minster Yard and to the Cathedral. It enabled him once more to share in the daily worshipping life of the Cathedral and its community.
“We thank God today for his faithful servant, and our friend, Oliver. May he rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.”