Rev Richard Coles announces death of his civil partner David
Church of England vicar Rev Richard Coles has confirmed on Twitter that his civil partner, Rev David Coles, has died after a long period of illness.
The couple, both Church of England vicars, had lived together in Northamptonshire.
Rev Richard Coles is known for hosting BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live and appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.
Rev Richard Coles wrote: “I’m very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died. He had been ill for a while.
“Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at @KettGeneral. Funeral details to follow.”
Quoting Isaiah 60:20, he added: “The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.”
Flood of support for Rev Richard Coles
The post was met with an outpouring of sympathy and support.
Fern Britton wrote: “Dear Richard, I am so sorry to hear this sad news.
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“David was funny and kind and a so lovely to spend time with. I am thinking of you and sending prayers. With my love Fern xxx”
Kirstie Allsopp added: “I do hope your mourning can be lifted by the thought of David and all the dachshunds that have gone before bounding about thrilled to have a fan in heaven, but grief is grim, that there’s no denying.”
Dianne Buswell, who was the vicar’s dance partner on Strictly Come Dancing, wrote: “I am so sorry to hear this. Sending all my love to you Rev! My prayers and thoughts are with you x”
Vicars criticised ‘daft’ rules on same-sex unions requiring celibacy
The vicars had previously criticised rules requiring them to remain celibate to abide by Church of England rules on same-sex unions, which married straight vicars are not required to do.
Rev Richard Coles explained to The Guardian: “[Celibacy is a consequence of] the Church of England’s completely ridiculous position, which I think is daft and probably wicked, and all but intolerable.
“I entered the priesthood thinking I was hors de combat … I did think that I would be on my own, and not looking to stop being on my own – and also not looking in lay-bys and bushes and so on … but then I met David.”