Antony Peter Bird

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 30 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4630
  1. Christopher Nankivell

Antony Peter Bird grew up in a vicarage on the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, where his father was parish priest and chaplain to the prison. He had the traditional boy’s boarding school education, where he shone in the arts, not the sciences. He won a classics scholarship to St John’s College, Oxford, and took degrees in classics, philosophy, and theology. He did his national service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and trained for the priesthood at Ripon College Cuddesdon. A curacy in Stafford showed that he was a born parish priest, teacher, preacher, and diligent listener; his house was open to all. This idyll was cut short in 1960 when he was called back to Cuddesdon to train ordinands, working as a vice principal to Robert Runcie (later Archbishop of Canterbury). Then, for reasons not all clear, he moved to Birmingham to read medicine. He had a tough time as an older medical student, married with children and no science background. He qualified in 1970 and joined a general practice at Cotteridge, Kings Norton, in Birmingham. Antony was friendly with several doctors and theologians in Birmingham at …

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