A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

About the Site

Brian Torode 1982

Welcome to our site which celebrates the life and work of Brian Torode, a man who was much loved, and is greatly missed, following his unexpected short illness and subsequent death in 2014.

We aim to bring you a flavour of his love for people and his passion for history. He came to Cheltenham from Guernsey during the early 1960s and immediately became interested in its story. Here you will discover his books on the architect, John Middleton and the Hebrew Congregation of Gloucestershire. Brian was an enthusiastic member of the Cheltenham Local History Society so we have made available his studies of the Cheltenham architect, W. H. Knight, the area of Tivoli, the Cheltenham MCs and much more.

Brian was a priest within the Anglo-Catholic tradition so we have included his studies of the Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire and his talks on local saints, pilgrimage and holy wells as well as a few of his sermons.

This site also features essays, notes and research by Richard Barton. In 1985 Brian and Richard were instrumental in setting up the Gloucestershire and North Avon Catholic History Society and, between them, they contributed many articles to the Journals. Brian was the editor of the Journal for some years. Whilst these publications may be perused in the Gloucestershire Archives many church histories and short biographies have been made available on this blogsite. 

There is also an extensive section on genealogy too, mainly families from the Channel Islands and from Gloucestershire and surrounding counties.

In addition a growing number of friends have allowed their articles to be posted on this site too.

Please use the Menu to navigate and remember to scroll down to ‘older posts’ in the larger categories.

Do check back from time-to-time to see what’s new! If you follow the site you will receive email notifications of items as they are published.

If you are planning to reproduce photographs and other images from this site please apply to the webmaster at or use the comments section at the foot of each post. If you are using the text please acknowledge your source –

12 comments on “About the Site

  1. lynne
    June 15, 2014

    I remember going to a spab event that Brian attended too. He brightened up the day with cheerful chat and was such a pleasure to be around. But his kindness didn’t stop there, a few days later he sent me some photos that he’d taken that day including some lovely ones of my daughter, who had joined us.
    It was a lovely surprise and a really nice thing to do!

  2. childrenssummerclub
    October 15, 2014

    I started researching my family history @ 2 years ago. My mother was a Brehaut. Her family came from Guernsey and my 3rd great grandfather married a Torode. Brian very kindly looked into his trees and provided me with lots of information about Torode history. Alas we couldn’t find a link, but I really appreciated his help, guidance and enthusiasm. A sad loss to genealogists.

  3. A Friend
    October 18, 2014

    What a wonderful tribute to a gifted and much loved Priest!
    I’m surprised that he hasn’t been honoured by the town of Cheltenham as yet, for he did much to promote it with his writings and research and vision in trying to keep up links with the various faiths.!

    Bravo to all! I shall look in occasionally to see how it grows.

  4. Nick Meredith
    December 1, 2014

    Mr Torode taught me primary school in 1974 – I remember the kindest and most inspirational teacher I ever had. A man who spent his whole life putting others first, and the man who set me on the road to where I am now. RIP Mr Torode, I and others are lucky to have met you.

    • Stephen Pearson
      August 22, 2018

      Lovely man was Mr Torode . Always singled me out and helped me at School. Back then I was called Nuttall. I’m now 53 yrs old now and was very sad to hear of his passing. Didn’t realise he became a priest though .

      • Richard Barton
        August 22, 2018

        Thanks for being in contact and leaving a comment.

  5. Bruce Parker
    February 21, 2015

    Brian was a fabulous guy at school in the 1950s … we were in the same form as each other at Elizabeth College… he was 16 days older than me ! I have to say I didn’t realise he had become a clergyman but I am not surprised as he would have been so suited to that. Looking at what everyone has written, I so wish I’d caught up with him in recent years – it sounds as though his sheer nice-to-be-with character and his smiley attitude to everything lasted throughout his life.

    Bruce Parker
    Chairman of Elizabeth College Foundation and author of “A History of Elizabeth College”

  6. Ivan Stevenson
    March 14, 2015

    I can’t believe it’s a year since I heard the news. Although we’d lost touch over the past couple of years, Brian Torode had been to me throughout my time at university and for many years beyond, one of my best friends, a thoroughly honest mentor and an inspiration for much of what I achieved in my early career. We shared much in common, being ‘only children’ who had travelled to study away from home and for a time at least, to embark on a shared career path. Brian introduced me to Anglican Catholicism, and prepared me for my Confirmation at Gloucester Cathedral, with others from St Stephens Church in Tivoli in 1996. He spent time with me visiting Victorian churches and religious communities as I prepared assignments for my studies in theology, at what is now the University of Gloucestershire. Later, he celebrated with me as I completed my teacher training and I will never forget the day he came to see me teach in my first school.

    Many evenings were spent discussing and debating the issues of the day over beer and curry in a number of local restuarants, although I have to say that Brian’s own curries from his own kitchen were rather exemplary. While a student I introduced Brian to many of my peers and he was always so willing to get involved in what we were doing. His ability to be comfortable with anyone meant his advice and guidance was often sought out in all kinds of situations.

    I left Cheltenham in 2004 and last saw Brian in August 2012 before I went to work overseas for a time. Rather than regret losing touch with someone who influenced my life in ways he may never have known; perhaps Brian in his passing has taught me something more important, which is that life is truly fleeting and passes by quickly. I need to make more time for those who matter.

    I am thankful I had the opportunity to bid my farewell with others who knew Brian at his funeral Mass. Last week I stopped by briefly in Cheltenham to remember Brian. The words on his headstone speak true – ‘Brian Edward Torode – a much loved Teacher, Priest and Friend.’ I for one owe him my sincere thanks, respect and deepest appreciation.

  7. Janet
    June 13, 2015

    While researching my genealogy, I came across the web site and was amazed at all the information available, a massive task. My ancestors came from & lived in Guernsey so to have all this information is priceless. A huge thankyou.
    Not knowing Father Brian Torode, I can only say R.I.P.

    Janet in New Zealand.

    • Keith
      June 13, 2015

      Dear Janet, thank you so much for your kind comments. Best wishes, Keith.

  8. btsarnia
    July 4, 2021

    Brian would have been eighty today. 4-7-2021

  9. Lynnette
    July 4, 2021

    Yes he would. So nice that he is still remembered. This site does him proud.

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This entry was posted on May 15, 2014 by in About.


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