My father, the Rev Richard Price, who has died aged 85, was a strong advocate of church unity, having spent his formative years at city parishes in Manchester and Leeds witnessing the divisions in his local communities. He never aspired to anything more than being a parish priest and supporting others through the strength of his own unshakeable faith. His service was recognised in 1986 when he was made a canon of Chester Cathedral.
Born at East Keswick, near Leeds, Richard was the third of four children of Stanley Price, secretary of the Yorkshire Council for Further Education, who established colleges throughout the county, and Kitty (nee Thornton), a health visitor and midwife. During the second world war, aged nine, Richard was evacuated to Buckden House, in Wharfedale. He retained a lifelong affection for the Yorkshire dales and eventually retired there.
In 1948 the family moved south to Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, and Richard became a pupil at Watford grammar school. While a teenager he became a gifted pianist, and continued to play throughout his life.
During Richard’s national service in the RAF he studied Russian, later taking his first degree at Merton College, Oxford, in modern languages (including Spanish). After this he found his true vocation in the church and was ordained in 1961. A year later he married Mary Briggs, a farmer’s daughter and childhood friend from East Keswick.
His first posts were as curate at All Saints and Martyrs in Langley, north Manchester (1961-62), St Peter’s with St Margarets, Bramley (1963-66) and All Hallows’ (1966-74), both in Leeds. On the night of the FA Cup final replay between Chelsea and Leeds in April 1970, All Hallows’ caught fire due to a wiring fault and was completely destroyed. It was a traumatic event for the community, and Richard took on the challenge of building a new church.
After a period at Christchurch, Birkenhead (1975-78), Richard spent two terms as rural dean at St Michael and All Angels, Mottram (1979-88). While there he established links with the Methodist, Catholic and other clergy and together they set up a weekly matins service so that the congregations could also get to know each other.
The culmination of his career was at St Mary’s, Nantwich (1989-99), as a senior member of the Chester diocesan clergy. He then retired to Cowling, near Skipton, once there, immediately became immersed in the life of the church and was also instrumental in the provision of a new village hall for the community.
In retirement, Richard was able to indulge his passion for walking in the Dales once again; it was an area that was permanently mapped out in his mind.
Richard was kind, patient and a true gentleman. With a great love for other people, a twinkle in his eye and an unassuming character, he was well appreciated by all who knew him.
He is survived by Mary, their children, Elizabeth, Rosemary, Andrew and me, four grandchildren, and by his sister, Helen.