My father, Alan Gawith, who has died aged 92, was an Anglican priest and a lifelong advocate for social justice and equality. His charm and quick wit won him both friends and debates.

From 1974 until his retirement in 1989, Alan was chair of the Church of England Board for Social Responsibility in Manchester, a charitable organisation that managed a specialist adoption agency and employed community workers to improve inner-city lives through training initiatives and support groups. He embraced liberation theology and challenged thinking on sexuality. Alan became the bishop of Manchester’s adviser on HIV and Aids, and was made a canon of the city’s cathedral in 1982. He was a supporter of gay clergy, a proponent of women priests, and was especially proud when his daughter Laurie was ordained in 2015.

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