Born in Portsmouth on 20 October 1928, he won a scholarship to Portsmouth Grammar School and trained for the ministry at Wesley House, Cambridge. A wide-ranging scholar and Old Testament specialist, he was tutor at Handsworth College 1956-1967 and at Southlands College and the Roehampton Institute 1969-1991. He gained his MSocSc at Birmingham on 'The social teaching of the Churches' and a London PhD on 'the teaching of Jesus in Mark'. He was the editor of the Expository Times from 1975 to 2001 and was Editorial Secretary of the Epworth Press 1991-1996. He has written Epworth Commentaries on the Psalms (1963, 1964), Job (1990) and Mark (2005) and volumes for the 'Thinking Things Through' series on the Bible and on Evil and Suffering.
He gave the Peake Memorial Lecture in 1982 on 'Man, Metaphor and Mediation'. Among his other interests and skills he included music (both piano and organ) and leatherworking (following his father's trade). He died in Emsworth on 28 July 2015.
'Unfailingly gentle in personal relationships, Cyril was quite uncompromising in his scholarship when it came to tackling the toughest issues, never willing to avoid the hard questions or to settle for glib answers. It was typical that the two books he contributed to the series of Epworth Commntaries were on the Book of Job, that stormy challenging of God's justice, and the Gospel of Mark, the first of the Gospels to be written and the bluntest in expression. In the "In Place of an Introduction" to the Mark commentary, he wrote, "We shall not attempt to conceal our ignorance, and we shall not flinch from facing up to issues that are foced upon us by life in today's world.'
Andrew de Ville in Methodist Recorder, 2 October 2015