John Stott, one of the most respected and influential preachers of the age, died today at 90. Among the many tributes comes this delightful snippet from Richard Bewes, one of his successors at All Souls.
When I became Rector of All Souls, we would pray together every week. He would treat me as his ‘boss’, but then he was my ‘bishop.’ Because my own study tended towards untidiness, we would usually meet in his tiny two-room flat, for there was an iron discipline about everything that he did. One year we were both speakers at the Keswick Convention. At the hotel where we were staying, I asked the staff member responsible for cleaning our rooms what she thought of the Convention. “Well,” she replied, “I go down to the Convention, and I hear people praising one speaker and then another. But I judge these men not by their speeches but by their bedrooms!”
“On that basis,” I hazarded, “Who is the outstanding speaker at Keswick this year?”
“Oh,” she said, “There’s no doubt at all about it. It’s John Stott!”