Mr Sidwell Coombe

'Gentle leadership and grace'

December 6 2016Mr Sidwell Coombe died peacefully on 23 November, after an illness. He was the Acting Registrar of the Diocese of Melbourne during 2003, after a long and distinguished career in the wool industry. He was an active parishioner along with his wife Beryl at Gisborne and more recently at St James’ Old Cathedral, where his funeral was held on 29 November.  

In his eulogy, his brother-in-law Malcolm Vawser said Sidwell married his sister Beryl in December 1955, “and together, they have, over 61 years, confronted the challenges of life which has been underpinned by a firm Christian commitment, and a preparedness to serve within the Anglican community and also, extending this ethos into the commercial world.

“He was very supportive of those needing comfort and advice… [and] supported Beryl in her work within the Anglican Community involving Ridley College and St Paul’s Cathedral as well as her involvement in mission outreach through Interserve. He also served on the board of Leprosy Mission, Australia.”

In his sermon, Canon Dr Peter Adam described Sidwell as a man of evangelical faith and broad Christian sympathies, who “had a strong commitment to God’s global Gospel mission, a commitment inherited from his family, and clearly expressed throughout his life…

“He was generous with time and with money, with wisdom and hard work, with financial acuity and Biblical and spiritual values, with practical help, and with prayer…

“Later in life Sidwell also offered notable service to the Diocese of Melbourne.”

Registrar and General Manager of the Diocese, Ken Spackman, who was unable to attend the funeral, also paid tribute to Sidwell in an email to staff: “Some of you will know Sid and will have worked with him in his capacity as Acting Registrar before my appointment and after during an extended hand over period. You will know him as a friend and mentor as I have. I will always be grateful to Sid for his gentle leadership and grace.”