The Reverend Kenneth Leech, who has died aged 76, was unique among the Anglican clergy of his generation in combining orthodox Christian faith, high churchmanship, a deep spirituality, radical socialism and unwavering commitment to the welfare of the underprivileged ”“ mainly in London’s East End. He was also a prolific writer.
There was nothing trendy or superficial about this. He strongly opposed the liberal theology originating in the 1960s and the more recent outburst of evangelicalism. He was a profound thinker and believed that only the inherited Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation and its sacramental consequences could sustain a Christian involvement in political and social action.
“Subversive orthodoxy” was his own description of his position. He believed that “an alliance between prophetic Christianity and progressive Marxism” offered “the last human hope of mankind”. For him New Labour came nowhere near to providing such a hope and he said that while there was overwhelming evidence of Tony Blair’s faith there was no evidence of his socialism.