For 15 years Ronald Higgins was director of Dunamis at St James’ church, Piccadilly, in London, while I was rector in the 1980s and 90s. It provided a safe public arena where people of widely different views could consider critical issues of international and personal security, at a time of global tension. The cold war was a backdrop to our activities: we hoped that Dunamis would help reduce polarisation and produce more thoughtful ways of doing things. So, for example, under Ronald’s wise, skilful chairing, American and Chinese officials could unbend and listen without, as he put it, “pingpong as mediator”.
Dunamis was not a moment of fitful middle class idealism. Neil Wates, one of the founders and funders of Dunamis, said: “We managed to plant many subversives in place” – and that was due to Ronald’s patience, perserverance and wisdom.