Canon William Anderson, 1931-2018, RIP

The Scots College is saddened to hear of the death of a former student and Spiritual Director of the college, Canon William Anderson.

The Diocese of Aberdeen has announced the death of Canon William ‘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 was educated at George Watson’s School, Edinburgh and completed further studies at Cambridge. He was a student at the Scots’ College in Rome, where he studyied philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. Upon completion, he was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh in 1960.

His connection with the Diocese of Aberdeen began when he started teaching at Blairs College, the 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 Spiritual Director at the Scots College from 1977-1985. He returned to Blairs during 1986 and remained there until its closure when he became Chaplain at Aberdeen University from 1986. In 1991, he was incardinated as a priest of the diocese of Aberdeen and became Administrator of the Cathedral from 1993 until 2000. In 1996 he was made a Cathedral Canon.

After the cathedral Canon Bill was parish priest at St Francis, Mannofield for two years before returning to the parish at Blairs 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.

In his retirement, he often supplied in parishes whilst also working for a degree from Thames Valley University. He was named ‘Preacher of the Year’ and gained diplomas in speech and drama from three London college as well as 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).

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.”

Thanks to the The Catholic Directory for Scotland.

One thought on “Canon William Anderson, 1931-2018, RIP

  • Bill Anderson was a contemporary and good friend at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in the early 1950’s. His quiet and modest demeanour did not detract from the admiration and affection of his friends there, impressed by his great intellect, power of communication and unfailing good humour. We maintained contact periodically over the many years, spent home and abroad, since graduation and, not having heard from him at Christmas, my qualms were sadly confirmed having just learned on-line of his passing. He was gentleman of the first order and will be greatly missed.

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