Vernon Higham Obituary

I wrote this obituary for the November issue of Evangelicals Now

For 40 years Vernon Higham exercised a hugely influential ministry at Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff. He wrote according to Evangelicals Now in 2000, the second most popular hymn from the last century Great is the Gospel of our Glorious God and he was a close friend Dr Lloyd Jones preaching at both his and Mrs Lloyd Jones funeral.

Mr Higham was born on 25 December 1926 in Caernarfon, North Wales, spending his childhood just outside Bolton where he attended the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel. He trained as an art teacher, but then felt called to the gospel Ministry. It was during his second term at Theological College in Aberystwyth that he was converted through the witness of his fellow students.  After two brief pastorates in West Wales and Pontarddulais he moved in 1962 to the Welsh capital. He was a first language Welsh speaker and when he arrived at the Heath he had only preached in English six times before.

Over a 40 year ministry his output was quite remarkable. Whilst he was there he would be producing 3-4 sermons per week alongside the pastoral care of the congregation. For 15 years of his ministry he suffered ill health and yet in God’s  kindness he never missed a Sunday. His preaching can be heard online at the Vernon Higham Trust Site. During the 1970s and 1980s God used Mr Higham greatly with many people coming to faith. The congregation remained around the 700/800 mark throughout his ministry.  In 1999 Tentmaker published a collection of over 160 of his hymns. Perhaps his greatest passion was that we would see a revival of the work of God in our day. JI Packer wrote of Mr Higham “Vernon Higham’s longing that God would visit us again is infectious – and it is an infection that we all need.” He retired from the Heath in 2002 and in his final years served as Pastor Emeritus at Tabernacle Church, Cardiff, continuing to preach until months before his death on 14th September.

Mr Higham is survived by his wife Morwen who was such part of his ministry, his two sons Dewi and Alun both Pastors themselves and a daughter Sioned.

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