Michael Saward was born at Blackheath in South East London on 14th May 1932. He grew up in Petts Wood, was educated at Eltham College, and became a practising Christian in 1946. After his National Service (he served as a subaltern in the Royal West African Frontier Force in Accra, Ghana) he read Theology at Bristol University, and played cricket for the University for four years. He was ordained Priest at Canterbury Cathedral by Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher and served curacies in Croydon and Edgware - two London suburbs. From 1964-67 he was Secretary of Liverpool Council of Churches before becoming Radio and Television Officer to Archbishop Michael Ramsey for five years. He then became Vicar of St Matthew's, Fulham, (1972-78) and Ealing (1978-91). At that time he was President of the House of Clergy of the Willesden Area Synod.
Among the large number of councils and committees on which he served, he was a member of the General Synod between 1975-95, a Church Commissioner from 1978-93 and on the Church of England Evangelical Council between 1976-93. He was Chairman of the Billy Graham London Mission '89 Media Task Group and was a judge of the Times 'Preacher of the Year' competition in 2000.
His final full-time post, before his retirement at the end of 2000, was as Canon Treasurer of St Paul's Cathedral in London. During his years there he became a Freeman of the City of London and a member of the Athenaeum. Inevitably he met most of the Royal family, the Lord Mayors of London, and on one memorable occasion shook hands with fifty-five world leaders at the Cathedral door! It fell to him to announce the death of Princess Diana from the pulpit within hours of her fatal accident.
An author, prize-winning journalist, regular broadcaster, religious adviser to the film 'Cromwell,' and holder of a Winston Churchill travelling fellowship, he has written nearly a hundred hymns (of which 'Christ triumphant' is his best known), and has been Words Editor of three hymnbooks. He has preached and spoken in many hundreds of churches in half a dozen countries, including the USA (13 times), lectured on the QE2, and even been a trustee of a castle! He is an avid reader (over 2500 books) and loves classical music, opera, military history, food and drink. For seven years he was chaplain at a WW1 Somme mine crater.
He met Jackie at University, married her in 1956, they have four children (all in their forties), seven grandchildren and one great grandson. He has been faithful to Sophia Loren for over forty years and enjoys life!
He has twice preached in the Tower of London and, amazingly, they let him out on both occasions. As the Church of England Newspaper once said of him 'he is never, but never, boring.'