David Sheppard

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On top of all this we were besieged by clergymen eager to meet the Reverend David Sheppard ... In no time at all the news in the press concerning the England team centred on ... where David Sheppard was sermonizing.

Fred Trueman [11]

Sheppard was willing to take a sabbatical from his church mission in the East End in order to tour Australia in 1962–63. His many friends at Lord's wanted him to captain the Fourth and Fifth Tests against Pakistan in 1962, but Sheppard had not played serious cricket for years. He made 112 for the Gentlemen and was chosen for the tour, but Ted Dexter was confirmed as captain for the remainder of the home series and the forthcoming tour of Australia. Sheppard agreed to tour and "the presence in the pulpit of David Sheppard...filled the Anglican cathedral of every state capital from Perth to Brisbane" [12] Sheppard made 0 and 113 in the victorious Second Test at Melbourne, but dropped two catches and was dropped himself when he was on a pair in the second innings. He ran out his captain Ted Dexter, took a risky single for the winning run and was run out by Bill Lawry so that Ken Barrington had to come out to see Colin Cowdrey make the winning single. Although he held some good catches on the tour "the ones I dropped were at such vital moments", [13] Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry in the Second Test and Neil Harvey in the Fourth Test off Trueman, who told him "The only time your hands are together are on Sunday". [14] This is a story that increased with the telling, another version being "Pretend it's Sunday Reverend, and keep your hands together", [13] or that it was Sheppard who said "Sorry Fred, I should have kept my hands together". [15] One couple in Australia asked Mrs Sheppard if the Reverend could christen their baby, but she advised them not to as he was bound to drop it. [13]

Sheppard played his last Tests against New Zealand in early 1963.

Ecclesiastical career

Sheppard was converted to evangelical Christianity whilst at Cambridge, influenced by Donald Grey Barnhouse, and trained for the ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge from 1953 to 1955, where he attended the lectures of Owen Chadwick and Maurice Wiles, and was much impressed by a visiting lecturer, Donald Soper. He was involved with the ministry of E. J. H. Nash. [16] He was ordained in 1955, serving his title as curate at St Mary's Church, Islington, but continued to play Test cricket sporadically until 1963, being the first ordained minister to do so. From 1957, he was warden of the Mayflower Family Centre in Canning Town.

Sheppard became Bishop of Woolwich (a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Southwark) in 1969, [17] and Bishop of Liverpool in 1975. [18] When installed as Bishop of Liverpool, he was the youngest diocesan bishop in England. He was an active broadcaster and campaigner, especially on the subjects of poverty and social reform in the inner cities, and opposition to apartheid and the tour to England by the South Africa national cricket team scheduled in 1970.

Sheppard worked closely with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek Worlock, on these issues, and was often an outspoken critic of Margaret Thatcher's government. The Queen visited both Liverpool cathedrals in 1978 to celebrate the long-delayed completion of the Anglican cathedral, and Pope John Paul II visited both cathedrals during his tour of England in 1982. The bishops worked together in the aftermath of the 1981 Toxteth riots, the 1985 Heysel stadium disaster and the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Sheppard also worked with other church leaders in Liverpool, including the Methodist chairman John Newton. He gave the Dimbleby Lecture in 1984, on "The Other Britain". In 1985 he was appointed as a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Urban Priority Areas, culminating in the publishing of the controversial report "Faith in the City". He was national president of Family Service Units from 1987 and chaired the religious advisory committee for the BBC and IBA from 1989 to 1993.

Sheppard retired in 1997, and in the 1998 New Year Honours was elevated to a life peerage, [19] taking the title Baron Sheppard of Liverpool, of West Kirby in the County of Merseyside. [20] He sat in the House of Lords on the Labour benches.

Awards and tributes


Beginning in the mid-1950s, Sheppard wrote a weekly column for Woman's Own , 520 words a week, "trying to make one point that had something to say about the everyday God in an accessible way". His column continued for 17 years. [21] He wrote several books: Built As a City in 1974 about urban mission, Bias to the Poor in 1983, and two autobiographies, Parson's Pitch in 1964 and Steps Along Hope Street in 2002 (named after the street in Liverpool which links the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals).

Personal life

In 1957 Sheppard married Grace Isaac, a daughter of a clergyman, whom he had met at Cambridge. Their only child, Jenny (now Sinclair), was born in 1962.

In December 2003, Sheppard announced that he had been suffering from colorectal cancer for the previous two years. He died on 5 March 2005, the day before what would have been his 76th birthday. He was survived by his wife and daughter. After a funeral near his retirement home at West Kirby on the Wirral, his ashes were buried in Liverpool Cathedral, with a memorial service at the cathedral in May 2005. Lady Sheppard died of cancer on 10 November 2010, aged 75. [22]


On Whit Sunday, 11 May 2008, during the Christian Walk of Witness, a memorial statue, the Sheppard-Worlock Statue in the form of two bronze doors, was unveiled to honour both Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock. The memorial was designed by notable sculptor Stephen Broadbent and funded by public donations. The memorial is situated halfway down Hope Street, in sight of the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals in Liverpool. [23]

The official biography of Bishop Sheppard by Andrew Bradstock of the University of Winchester, [24] entitled Batting for the Poor, was published by SPCK on 21 November 2019. [25]


by David Sheppard

  • Parson's Pitch (1964) - autobiography. Published by Hodder & Stoughton
  • Built As a City (1974) Published by Hodder & Stoughton
  • Bias to the Poor (1983). Published by Hodder & Stoughton
  • With Christ in the Wilderness: Following Lent Together (1990), written with Derek Worlock. Published by Barnabas
  • Steps Along Hope Street: My Life in Cricket, the Church and the Inner City (2002) - autobiography. Published by Hodder & Stoughton

by other authors

  • Bradstock, Andrew. Batting for the Poor: The Authorized Biography of David Sheppard. SPCK Publishing. 2019.
  • Brown, Geoff and Hogsbjerg, Christian. Apartheid is not a Game: Remembering the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign. London: Redwords, 2020. ISBN   9781912926589.

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  1. 1 2 Miles, Tina (9 May 2011) Archbishop Desmond Tutu pays tribute to Grace Sheppard at Liverpool Cathedral thanksgiving service. Liverpool Echo.
  2. Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 146. ISBN   1-869833-21-X.
  3. Godfrey Butland (January 2009) "Sheppard, David Stuart, Baron Sheppard of Liverpool (1929–2005)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press.
  4. "David Stuart Sheppard, cricketer and priest: born Reigate, Surrey 6 March 1929; played cricket for Sussex 1947–62 (Captain 1953), England 1950–63 (Captain 1954); ordained deacon 1955, priest 1956; Assistant Curate, St Mary's, Islington 1955–57; Warden, Mayflower Centre, Canning Town 1957–69; Chairman, Evangelical Urban Training Project 1968–75; Bishop Suffragan of Woolwich 1969–75; Chairman, Peckham Settlement 1969–75; Chairman, Martin Luther King Foundation 1970–75; Chairman, Urban Ministry Project 1970–75; Bishop of Liverpool 1975–97; Vice-Chairman, Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Urban Priority Areas 1983–85; Chairman, Central Religious Advisory Committee for BBC and IBA 1989–93; Chairman, General Synod Board for Social Responsibility 1991–96; Chairman, Churches' Enquiry into Unemployment and the Future of Work 1995–97; created 1998 Baron Sheppard of Liverpool; President, Sussex County Cricket Club 2001–02; married 1957 Grace Isaac (one daughter); died West Kirby, Merseyside 5 March 2005." Obituary Notice, The Independent 7 March 2005
  5. "Shepherd, J. A. (James Affleck)". WorldCat Identities. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  6. "No. 38392". The London Gazette . 27 August 1948. p. 4770.
  7. "4th Test, The Oval, Aug 14 - 19 1952, India tour of England". Cricinfo. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  8. "4th Test, Manchester, Jul 26 - 31 1956, Australia tour of England". Cricinfo. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  9. Brown and Hogsbjerg, Apartheid is not a game, 16.
  10. Brown and Hogsbjerg, Apartheid is not a game, 68.
  11. Trueman, Fred (2004) As It Was, The Memoirs of Fred Trueman, Pan Books. pp. 274, 227–278. ISBN   140504148X
  12. Swanton, E.W. (1975) Swanton in Australia, with MCC 1946–1975, Fontana. p. 124. ISBN   0002162369.
  13. 1 2 3 Freddi, Criss (1996) The Guinness Book of Cricket Blunders, Guinness Publishing. pp. 168–169. ISBN   0851126243
  14. Trueman, Fred (2004) As It Was, The Memoirs of Fred Trueman, Pan Books. p. 282. ISBN   140504148X
  15. Titmus, Fred and Hildred, Stafford (2005) My Life in Cricket, John Blake Publishing Ltd. p. 116. ISBN   184454124X
  16. Manwaring, Randle (2002) From Controversy to Co-Existence: Evangelicals in the Church of England 1914–1980. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 58. ISBN   0521892473
  17. "No. 44953". The London Gazette . 9 October 1969. p. 10317.
  18. "No. 46566". The London Gazette . 6 May 1975. p. 5873.
  19. "No. 54993". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1997. p. 1.
  20. "No. 55048". The London Gazette . 19 February 1998. p. 1975.
  21. Sheppard, David (2002) Steps Along Hope Street. Hodder & Stoughton, London. p. 33. ISBN   0340861177
  22. Bergin, Claire (12 November 2010) "Archbishop Kelly pays tribute to Lady Grace Sheppard". Independent Catholic News
  23. Down, Richard (12 May 2008). "Anglican and Catholic leaders unveil statue tribute". Liverpool Daily Post . Retrieved 12 May 2008.
  24. "Professor Andrew Bradstock". University of Winchester. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  25. "David Sheppard: Batting for the Poor". SPCK. Retrieved 8 December 2019.

The Lord Sheppard of Liverpool
Sheppard in 1969
David Stuart Sheppard

(1929-03-06)6 March 1929
Reigate, Surrey, England
Died5 March 2005(2005-03-05) (aged 75)
West Kirby, Merseyside, England
SpouseGrace Isaac [1]
ChildrenJenny Sinclair [1]
Bishop of Liverpool
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Liverpool
Term ended1997 (retired)
Predecessor Stuart Blanch
Successor James Jones
Other post(s)
Ordination29 September 1955 (deacon); 29 September 1956 (priest)
by  William Wand (deacon); Henry Montgomery Campbell (priest)
Consecration18 October 1969
by  Michael Ramsey
Personal details
Occupation Cricketer
Cricket information
Bowling Slow left arm orthodox
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  353)12 August 1950 v  West Indies
Last Test19 March 1963 v  New Zealand
Domestic team information
Religious titles
Preceded by Bishop of Woolwich
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Liverpool
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by Sussex county cricket captain
Succeeded by
Preceded by England cricket captain
Succeeded by