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Norwich Canon retires after decades of faithful service

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On Sunday, 22 April a congregation of over 150 joined with the Revd Canon John Minns and his family in a celebration Eucharist presided over by the Bishop of Norwich. The gathering celebrated the ministry and retirement of Canon John Minns who has served St George’s Church in Tombland for 27 years.

John’s original profession was as an architect and whilst continuing to practice he was made a deacon in 1985 and ordained as a priest in 1986. Initially, he served as the Honorary Assistant Priest at St Barnabas, Norwich but left there in 1991 to take up his duties as Priest in Charge of St George, Tombland.

John Brydon, Churchwarden at St George, Tombland said:

“At that time this city centre church was experiencing a decline in its congregation and its future as a place of worship was in question. John’s faith and welcoming personality soon made an impact and slowly the congregation grew and the future of the church as a place of worship was secured.

“Although it was always envisaged John would work a set number of hours in his ministry, he devoted much of his time to the church. There are not many parish churches where you could wander in to find the priest waiting to welcome you, except perhaps on the TV!”

John is well known in many circles in the city and during his time at the church he oversaw a number of major improvements and renovation projects. His ministry and ambassadorial skills were recognised some years ago when he was made a canon in the church.

After the celebration service on Sunday church members and friends enjoyed a party held in the United Reformed Church in Princes Street, who kindly provided their building in recognition of the long association between the two churches.

John Brydon said:

“Over the past 12 months John, who is well into his 70s, has not enjoyed the best of health but he has never complained and despite some setbacks, he has always been determined and positive about the future. We wish him and his wife Jane a long and happy retirement.”

This article was first published on Network Norfolk.