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News – Sir Marcus Loane

June 2009 | by Allan M. Blanch

Sir Marcus Loane

 

Sir Marcus Loane, KBE, DD, MA, died in Sydney on 14 April after a brief illness. He was 97. Born in Tasmania, he grew up in Sydney and was educated at The King’s School, Parramatta, Sydney University, and Moore Theological College.

He taught at Moore for many years. After war service in Papua New Guinea he became its Principal, and then a coadjutor bishop. In 1966 he was elected Archbishop of Sydney and in 1978 Primate of Australia. He was knighted in 1976.

Last year Sir Marcus said, ‘The greatest prize I ever won was the heart of the noblest girl I ever knew’. In 1937 he married Patricia Knox, the gracious companion of his life and labours for 71 years. Lady Loane, their two sons and two daughters, and their families, survive him.

He was a man of exemplary personal sanctity. His final presidential address to the

Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students in 1983 concluded: ‘to love God with all our mind calls for a lifelong self discipline and … to bow in the deepest reverence and humility before the Lord, even Jesus’. He himself loved God in that way.

A staunch Protestant, he held tenaciously to the principles and theology of the Reformation, yet won the respect of those who differed from him. Throughout his life he loved to trace the succession of evangelical ministry and influence from one generation to another.

 

Encouragement

 

Sir Marcus did all he could, especially by pen and preaching, to faithfully maintain the evangelical tradition. Deeply committed to missionary endeavour, he enjoyed travelling to widespread fields to offer Bible teaching and encouragement. He was a strong Christian leader, a wise and compassionate pastor. He presided over meetings and synods with fair-minded efficiency. He and Lady Loane were remarkably hospitable.

His powerful preaching had Charles Simeon’s aims: to humble the sinner, exalt the Saviour, and promote holiness. He looked for four things in sermons: insight into the text; a logically ordered sequence of thought; reverent, simple language; and passion, with the preacher involved with every fibre of his being.

Sir Marcus retired from office in 1982, but never from ministry. He continued to preach regularly. He wrote more books. Assiduously he visited the sick and bereaved, and maintained a large pastoral correspondence. His mind and spirit remained clear and strong to the end, but with his death a significant era in the Diocese of Sydney has ended.

He had always longed to see the Lord Jesus face to face. Now his valiantly faithful pilgrimage is over and we may be sure that all the trumpets sounded as he went in to see the King.

Allan M. Blanch