Salisbury Cathedral was very dear to Robert Key, who has died aged 77.
When he was two years old his father, the late John Maurice Key, was appointed Bishop of Sherborne. Consequently, Rob recalled a childhood spent in various houses in the Cathedral Close. He was educated at Salisbury Cathedral School and remained its champion throughout his life: after his Parliamentary career he chaired its Governing Body. He represented Salisbury in the House of Commons for nearly thirty years. His politics were shaped by a profound Christian faith, and his public life included a number of significant roles in the Cathedral’s life. He was appointed a Lay Canon in 2008 (with the stall in the Quire bearing the name Salisbury – of course). He was a member of the Cathedral Council and chaired the committee which oversaw the celebration of Magna Carta’s 800th Anniversary in 2015. He chaired the House of Laity of the Diocesan Synod, and represented the Diocese in the Church of England’s General Synod. He sang with the Salisbury Musical Society and served as a Cathedral Steward, welcoming many to the choral worship which was the lodestar of his life and career.
The Dean of Salisbury said:
“Rob was a courageous and conscientious public servant, a person of deep convictions and sincere faith. He has made an immense contribution to Salisbury Cathedral’s life, and we are hugely grateful to him and for him. We are praying for Rob, and for his family. May he rest in peace – and rise in glory”.