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The BBC's Emily Buchanan
"Friends say they'll miss his engaging conversation"
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Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey
"He was a very complex man"
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Envoy to former Archbishop Runcie, Terry Waite
"Our working relationship developed into a very firm friendship"
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Wednesday, 12 July, 2000, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Former archbishop Lord Runcie dies

Tributes have flooded in for Lord Runcie
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Runcie has died after a long battle with cancer.

Robert Runcie, 78, died peacefully at his home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, on Tuesday evening.

During his time as Archbishop of Canterbury - from 1980 to 1991 - Lord Runcie was seen as having a strong reformist creed, frequently pitched in opposition to the Thatcher government.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "The Queen was very saddened to hear of the former Archbishop's death, and a private message has been sent from the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to Archbishop Runcie's family."

The present Archbishop, Dr George Carey, paid tribute to Lord Runcie, saying he learnt of his death with "great sadness".

Dr Carey added: "He fought bravely against cancer for the larger period of his retirement. But he did so with such cheerfulness while maintaining a full diary that few were aware of the battle being waged."

He said Lord Runcie's achievements had left the church a great inheritance.

Rocked the boat

The Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks, said Lord Runcie "contributed greatly" to improved relations between Christians and Jews.

Lord Runcie once expressed satisfaction that he had kept the Church united and that it had "rocked the boat a bit" on social issues.
Terry Waite
Terry Waite said he had lost a good friend
He expressed opinions on the miners' strike - saying the government should stop treating its opponents as "scum" - the handling of the economy, Britain's "lunatic" nuclear arsenal and the Falklands War.

In May 1982 he welcomed Pope John Paul II to Canterbury - the first papal visit to Britain since the split with Rome in the 16th century - and they held a joint service expressing Christian unity.

Lord Runcie was deeply moved by the kidnapping, on January 20, 1987 in Beirut of his "special envoy" Terry Waite, who was on a mission to Lebanon to negotiate the release of hostages, and he prayed for him every day of his incarceration which lasted almost five years.

Mr Waite said he had lost a good friend and the world had lost a good priest.

Funeral service

The Church Urban Fund, which raised millions from Church of England dioceses to fund inner city projects for the unemployed and deprived, sprang from a report which Lord Runcie had commissioned.

He was also a man of impressive physical courage, awarded the Military Cross for "courageous leadership" as a tank officer in the Guards Armoured Division in Normandy in 1945.

Lord Runcie leaves wife Rosalind and children James and Rebecca.

There will be a funeral service in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban at 1100 BST on 22 July and a memorial service will be held at Westminster Abbey on a date to be announced.

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12 Jul 00 | UK
The reformist archbishop
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