The Requiem Mass for Fr Derek Powney was celebrated today (Thursday 16 May) at St Margaret’s Church, Davidson's Mains, Edinburgh.

Born in Bournemouth in 1940 and raised as a Methodist, Fr Derek Powney was an Oxford-trained physicist (and a friend of Stephen Hawking) who, after a period of research and teaching at Bristol University, became a science teacher at Bradfield College and Mill Hill School.

He married Aileen, an Episcopalian from Edinburgh, and the couple had two sons.

After a deputy headship in Basildon he was appointed as Headteacher of Abbs Cross School, Hornchurch.

Called to the Anglican ministry, he was ordained in the Church of England shortly after his wife had become a Catholic.

He served at St John the Baptist, Tilbury Docks, and in due course was himself received into the Catholic Church.

After a period of training at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, he was ordained priest by Bishop McMahon on 24 June 2000 and was appointed to St John Fisher, Prittlewell, as well as Catholic Chaplain to Southend Hospital.

In 2001 he moved to Sacred Heart, Southend-on-Sea, from where he continued to serve Prittlewell.

In 2009 he retired to Edinburgh, where he died on 22 April 2024 aged 83.

Archbishop Leo Cushley was the main celebrant at the Requiem Mass and Fr Powney's ashes were interred at Mortonhall Crematorium.

May he rest in peace.