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Dewi Arwel Hughes: 1947-2017

The prominent theologian and champion of the poor, Dewi Arwel Hughes of Pontypridd, died Wednesday (4th October 2017).

06 Oct 2017

The prominent theologian and champion of the poor, Dewi Arwel Hughes of Pontypridd, died Wednesday (4th October 2017).

Dewi Arwel Hughes

Graham Fairbairn, former Deputy Director of Tearfund said, 'Dewi was such a special colleague and a wonderful friend. All of us who knew him can truly thank the Lord for the privilege. His commitment to Bible truth and Christian lifestyle was always such an example within Tearfund. His books and his work on the theology of the poor will stand as a lasting memorial to his service for our Lord.'


Dewi was originally from Y Bala and graduated in Welsh and Theology from Bangor University. He joined Tearfund in 1987 as the charity's Co-ordinator in Wales. His wife, Maggie, was already a Tearfund volunteer and it was through her influence that Dewi came to Tearfund from his previous post as Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Polytechnic of Wales in Pontypridd. During that period, he published the volume 'Has God Many Names?' (Apollos)


In 1993, Dewi was appointed Tearfund Theological Consultant, a post which involved research and policy work on theology and global poverty, and he remained in the post until his retirement at the end of 2012. During this period, he wrote the influential volume 'God of the Poor', with Matthew Bennett (OM), 1998. He was also commissioned to write a substantial volume Power and Poverty to celebrate Tearfund’s 40tth anniversary. More recently he wrote 'Castrating Culture' (Paternoster), 2001 and 'A World on our Doorstep' (Evangelical Alliance), 2016.


For years, Dewi and Maggie co-ordinated the Tearfund stand at the National Eisteddfod, selling a wealth of Tearcraft fair trade products. He was often called to comment in the media on theological and international issues.


Clive Mather, Chairman of Tearfund said: “Dewi was deeply loved and respected at Tearfund. His thinking has influenced the work we do around the world."


Hywel Meredydd of Tearfund Wales said, ‘Dewi was an inspiration and an effective voice for the poor. His influence extended beyond the printed word to his daily life which embodied the values which he cherished’


He was an active member of Temple Baptist Church in Pontypridd; he served on the Council and the Executive Committee of the Evangelical Alliance in Wales, and was one of the founders and trustees of the Gobaith i Gymru charity, responsible for the new Bible translation, www.beibl.net. Sharing the love of Christ with the people of Wales was very important to him. Arfon Jones said ‘Neither Gobaith i Gymru nor beibl.net would exist were it not for his determination, his encouragement and his unobtrusive support over the years. But, most of all, Dewi was a friend. He was a first-class scholar and theologian and his commitment to the poor revealed the glory and the challenge of the gospel of Jesus Christ’


Dewi was also involved with the Pont movement in Pontypridd to twin the town with Mbale in Uganda.


He leaves his wife Maggie and five children, Rebecca, Daniel, Steffan, Anna and Lydia, and six grandchildren, along with three sisters, Gwennan, Haf and Lona.

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