Evangelical leader Melvin Tinker passes away

Melvin Tinker

Leading British Anglican evangelical speaker and author, Rev Melvin Tinker, has died aged 66.

Tinker was the author of around 15 books. His 2018 analysis of the effect of social Marxism on the Western Church, That Hideous Strength: How the West was lost, published by Evangelical Press, was among his most critically acclaimed works.

His son Michael revealed on Twitter in October that his father had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

On November 19, Michael reported: "It seems Dad is entering his final few days. Last Monday he was having conversations about chemo, but then came a scan which showed the cancer had spread far more rapidly than anyone expected. He's now home from the hospital and we're with him."

Melvin Tinker died in the early hours of November 23, the orthodox website Anglican Mainstream announced. The funeral arrangements have not yet been confirmed.

His son, Michael J Tinker, said his father had been "comfortable" at the time of his passing, surrounded by his wife and family, and listening to David Suchet's reading of the book of Revelation.

He said his dad "would want to be remembered as a sinner saved by so gracious and merciful a King".

"Dad wanted a celebration service after his funeral. But not a celebration of him. He wanted the celebration to be of God and all He has done. He insisted on it. That's my Dad," he said, adding, "Dad has died. But he's now more alive than ever before."

The Christ Church Network, Hull, where Tinker was Director of Theology, gave thanks for his ministry.

"We praise God for Melvin's faithful and unwavering ministry in Hull and beyond, as he held up the Gospel through his teaching, preaching, pastoring, and writing," the network said.

"He had such a great impact on so many people and we thank God for this rich and wonderful legacy. Praise God for the victorious work of Christ, on behalf of his people, that means our hope is certain and eternal." 

Tinker was vicar of St John's Newland in Hull for 26 years until he left the Church of England in August 2020 after becoming increasingly at odds with its direction.

Announcing his departure, he wrote on the US website Anglican Ink: "In August 2020 a new Anglican network of churches was formed out of St John, Newland in Hull. Within two weeks of its announcement, over 550 folk (including children) signed up to join Christ Church Newland, Christ Church Riverside and Christ Church Orchard Park.

"This was the result of two years of prayer and planning by the whole leadership to ensure an orderly exit from the Church of England and the formation of an Anglican ministry freed up for Gospel growth."

Close friend Gavin Ashenden, former chaplain to the Queen, paid tribute to Tinker as "one of the most outstanding evangelical clergy of his generation".

"He was a fiercely intelligent author and theologian who combined intellectual clarity with an an integrity of the heart which was sadly rare in the Church of England," he said. 

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, which worked closely with Tinker in the past, described him as "a beautiful man who loved Jesus above all".

"He was a great leader, preacher, teacher and he was very brave. He was a man who understood the times and was unafraid to speak," she said.

"He feared only God, not man which meant he had the courage not just to challenge the secular culture but the Church when it was failing to stand in truth and love to a hurting world.

"That meant he got hurt by this world but daily walked in the joy of the Lord; this was so evidently his strength. I shall miss you Melvin and especially your leadership and teaching in my life."