Ann Hamilton – RIP

St Anthony of Padua Franciscan Friary

Ann Hamilton died peacefully early last Wednesday morning September 1 at the Conquest Hospital.

Knowing that her end was near, she had made arrangements for a service of celebration which she could attend with her friends, “because I wanted to be there with you.”  The service will now take place at St Anthony’s church, Watchbell Street on Monday, September 27 at 3pm.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


  1. Ann Hamilton will be missed so much by the Christian community in Rye. When I first arrived in 1990 she ran a Christian bookshop in Lion Street, and even when I returned to the town in 2010, she was still very much involved, not only in St Anthony’s but across the churches.

    Ann was a convinced Roman Catholic but this did not stop her from having a broader ecumenical vision. This vision was seen in the part she played in Churches Together in Rye and District, which she continued to support in various ways right up to the end of her life.

    Ann Hamilton was a lovely Christian lady who spent her life serving others. The Christian community in Rye will be all the poorer now she has gone.

    May she rest in peace.

  2. Dear Ann, I remember her so well – she was part of our church discussion group and always came up with the most interesting and thoughtful ideas – and again a great supporter of the shows I did at the Festival. I wish I could attend her funeral, but I have to go to London that day, to perform in a tribute to a great friend of mine, so I shall think of you all and pray for her. Martin Wimbush

  3. First knew of Ann who as a girl lived in Oxford with her mother and attended Mass at Blackfriars and got to know my dear friends the Miskins.
    In Rye her bookshop in Lion street was a great supporter of Traidcraft crafts and goods. It was also a stopping off point for many to have a chat and a cup of tea or coffee.
    I remember her supporting David Maundrell, then vicar of Rye, who found it quite lonely saying daily evensong by himself, so Ann joined him in this everyday she was in Rye.
    She enjoyed her archeaological digs in remote parts of the world!
    I remember her researching to find a Greek edition of the New Testament for a member of St. Marys Church. This was well before the digital age!
    Ann was an interesting mix of old fashioned Catholicism and coming to terms with modern theology and thinking which can be difficult. I think it is fair to say she was uncompromising her views!
    I gather one of her last activities was distributing home made cakes outside St. Anthony’s for people coming out of Mass on a Sunday morning?
    The loss of another notable character of Rye.

  4. Ann was one of the most amazing and inspirational people I have ever met. She was also very private and humble. Since her death there is a flurry of interest about her life among the Catholic national press and I’ve learned what a distinguished person she was. I only met her 5 years ago she was incredibly energised then and introduced me to much that has been useful to me. She was an Anam Cara to me and many others. Ann organised her funeral and said it was going to be so beautiful she wanted to be there and invited us all for 18 September. She is so loved and it was a privilege to know her.
    Pace et lux perpetua luceat ei.

  5. I first met Ann in 2011 when I joined the Rye Julian Prayer Meeting, which she lead. Very quickly I realised what an amazing woman she was, and in true Christian commitment, she was so welcoming and generous to everyone. In 2015 Ann asked me to take over the lead role of the Rye Julian Meeting which she had originally founded some 35 years earlier, but she continued to be an active member of the group right up to her last days. She will always have a special place with us, and be remembered at each of our future ecumenical gatherings.

  6. Good to read the affectionate tributes to an outstanding Christian. The Requiem Mass for Ann will be at St. Anthony’s on Monday 27th September at 3 pm.

  7. I owned and ran the Cobbles for over a decade and during that time had many conversations with Ann. She was a warm and interesting person. My word, she loved a scone, particularly one where you ‘couldn’t taste the raising agent’. With the loss of Ann at No.3 Hylands Yard and Hilary from No. 5 earlier in the year (another forthright and fascinating character), and of course the passing of Pam from just down The Mint, this little enclave of Rye will never be the same again.
    RIP all these wonderful ladies.

  8. There are relatively few formal obituaries in the catholic newspaper the Tablet, but in its weekly Diary page, there are often tributes to distinguished Catholics who have just died. Today there is well deserved one about Ann. I think a longer version is going to be published online tomorrow (most of it is behind a paywall, but apparently it’s easy enough to punch through it for limited free content). I understand that there will also be one published in Rye News, which I look forward to reading and sharing with her friends, family and numerous colleagues from her very long lost of volunteering work scattered around the globe.


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