Author, theologian and editor hailed as a 'giant in the Catholic world'

Leading British Catholic writer Stratford Caldecott has died, aged 60, after a long struggle with cancer.

Catholics around the world expressed their condolences following the death of the accomplished theologian, author and editor from pancreatic cancer on Thursday, July 17.

He was the G K Chesterton Research Fellow at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, co-editor of Magnificat UK and publisher of the journal Second Spring. He also served on the editorial board of the international theological journal Communio.

His books include Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education, Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education and The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

He was able to complete a final book before his death, Not As the World Gives: The Way of Creative Justice, published by Angelico Press.

He also wrote a powerful essay on dying for The Imaginative Conservative.

He came to global prominence in the months before his death when family members launched the #CapForStrat campaign, inviting actors playing superheroes in Hollywood films to send messages of support.

American Catholic writer Kathy Schiffer described him as a “a giant in the Catholic world”.

She wrote in a blogpost: “Caldecott’s intellectual accomplishments, however significant they may be, are overshadowed by the great faith which guided him as he lived his life and awaited his death.”

American priest Fr Dwight Longenecker paid tribute to Stratford’s “sure, constant and quiet faith”.

He wrote: “Strat, being a Catholic intellectual, remained an outsider. He was also an outsider in England because he was, like me, a foreigner. He didn’t really fit in.

“He also didn’t really fit in in English Catholic circles because he actually did something. He didn’t wait to be asked and didn’t wait to be thanked. He organised international conferences. He started publishing houses, intellectual journals and worked tirelessly editing, writing, encouraging writers and quietly building up an impressive and powerful body of work.”

Catholics also paid tribute to the writer on Twitter: