Leighton Thomson TD 1919-2014 – Tribute

Reverend Prebendary Leighton Thomson died peacefully in Chelsea on Sunday 27th April aged 95. Father of David and Penny, grandfather of Edward, Alex and Kitty and great-grandfather.

As a young clergyman he served as Assistant Chaplain in Alexandria, Egypt for three years until 1950 when he returned to serve at Chelsea Old Church for 42 years and for many years he was the Bishop of Egypt’s Commissary in the United Kingdom

Rebuilding book

He left his book “The Rebuilding of Chelsea Old Church” published in 1992. Leighton was an active committee member of EDA and he also hosted the annual meetings for many years in Chelsea.


Huw Thomas, Peter Heartfield and Joseph Wasef represented EDChelsea_Old_ChurchA at The funeral held at Chelsea Old Church on Friday 16th May.

The service and reception following were splendid and crowded occasions with good opportunity for the exchange of stories and happy memories of Leighton and it was good that his long association with Egypt and our Association was also remembered.


 This is how Leighton is remembered by EDA members  

“I was touched by the kindness of the late Leighton Thompson as he welcomed me when I arrived with my family in England in 1985 to do my post graduates medical studies. He was the Bishop’s Commissary at that time. He invited us into his home and warmly welcomed us. He kept checking the whole time of my studies if we need any help”.
I remember in one of the early EDA meetings which I attended after I became a Bishop, he expressed his desire to step down as a Bishop’s Commissary in order to give an opportunity for someone from the newer generation. I thought that this was an honourable action.         

Bishop Mouneer Anis

 Leighton_Newspaper_Cutting  “Remember him well as a kind of elder statesman figure at EDA meetings and greatly respected. I had the privilege of speaking at the EDA AGM of 1973 at Chelsea Old Church together with the late Donald Swann and Leighton made us all very welcome that day”.    Canon Philip Cousins

“Leighton Thomson was a great EDA figure”.

Canon Huw Thomas

“I remember Leighton primarily for his gentle and gentlemanly ways, together with his quiet but keen sense of humour.  Back in 1982 when my husband was in hospital in Oxford, an Egyptian friend came to London with her very ill husband.  As she didn’t know anyone here, I asked Leighton if she could call him if she needed a friend nearby.  He readily accepted. He frequently sent me little thank you notes – quite unjustified.  He was a dear.”

Ghislaine Morris

“I remember him well on the Committee and at AGMs, always very approachable and friendly”    He was very keen on rowing and I believe was a blue at Oxford.                               

Douglas Thornton

“Leighton was a member of the EDA committee for many years; he was a Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral and Vicar of Chelsea Old Church where he was very much involved in the restoration of the church in the fifties. We held our AGM services in his church for quite some years with the actual AGM in a college the other side of the road. We used to hold a St. Mark’s Day supper in his church hall and Phyllis my late wife and I were privileged to stay with him and his wife overnight on several occasions prior to these events.

He was with me on my last visit to Cairo when I went out with Bishop Stephen Venner, the then Bishop of Dover who was representing the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the consecration and enthronement of Bishop Mouneer in the year 2000 – I think!. Leighton had told me that the one thing he had never done in Cairo Cathedral was ring the bells which my memory tells me were outside where one sat down to do so. Anyway, I managed to take a photo of him doing just that during our stay; this was framed and presented to him at the following AGM.”                                                   Canon Peter Heartfield

Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.





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