Monday, 28 April 2014
It is with great sadness that we, at the University of Worcester, received the news of the death of our colleague, Dr Denise Inge at the all too young age of 51.
Denise, wife to Bishop John of Worcester, and mother to daughters Eleanor, 15, and Olivia, 9, lost her year-long battle with an inoperable cancer on Easter Sunday, surrounded by her family and loved ones. Denise’s last written words were:
“I have nothing to offer God but my poverty, a broken body and a longing heart. A state of complete dependency.”
Denise grew up in Pennsylvania, in the United States, where she developed a passion for the natural world and for gardening to combine with her brilliant intelligence and an unshakeable faith in God. A member of the Quiet Garden Movement, Denise understood the value of a tranquil garden sanctuary in which to rest and pray. She regularly encouraged others to create and share such spaces for reflection.
Denise moved to England in 1986, where she met Bishop John. She studied at Oxford University, and taught before completing a PhD at King’s College London. She was appointed to an Honorary Senior Fellowship in Early Modern Studies at the University of Worcester in 2009.
Denise was a leading authority on the cleric, metaphysical poet, and theologian, Thomas Traherne. Her work to transcribe Traherne’s lost manuscripts, along with her prize-winning books on the poet, garnered global scholarly acclaim. Denise shared a love of people, nature and of theology with Traherne, and derived great joy from uncovering his beautiful work which had been lost for centuries and, through her excellent scholarly endeavour, bringing them to prominent public attention. Traherne wrote so much, so movingly including:
“Love melts seas, and springs and fountains, flowers in the streams of Living Water in Every River.”
Denise’s enthusiasm for students, people and research was infectious. She believed strongly that the wide-ranging and varied works of Traherne are as relevant and engaging today as they were when first penned almost four centuries ago. Through her work as an Honorary Fellow at the University, Denise was able to share this passion with the University community at Worcester, and her outstanding scholarship initiated new avenues of exploration and research for colleagues and students alike.
Denise was an esteemed scholar, a highly valued colleague, and an unstinting friend of and contributor to the University. We miss her deeply.
Denise's funeral, a requiem Eucharist, will be held in Worcester Cathedral on Tuesday 6 May at 2pm. All are welcome.