Tributes paid to Norwich church father figure

SamHollingerWeb2By Keith Morris

2008: Tributes have been paid to well-known Norwich Christian businessman and father-figure at Norwich Family Life Church, Sam Hollinger, who died on Monday September 22, one week after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Sam, aged 70, who is survived by his wife Renee and three children, Christine, Mark and Graeme, had been a pillar of the church for the last 30 years since it met at Nelson Street as Mount Zion.
He also established Norwich printing business Hollinger Print, which employs around 10 people, and had interests in a bio-fuel business. Sam lived at Tasburgh south of Norwich.
Sam was chairman of the business administration team and head usher at Norwich Family Life Church and was manager of the church’s football team, in which his sons played, for several years.
Senior pastor, Trevor Pimlott, said: “It is a sad day for the whole church. Sam was one of the father figures of our church and displayed a tremendous example of what a father should be. He was one of my closest friends and I am going to miss him a lot.
“Sam’s most outstanding quality was that he was such an encourager and always had such a positive attitude. Even when things happened to him, he never complained and was really positive about everything.  He and his family were very generous givers to the church."
SamHollingerWebSam was an Irish protestant from County Monaghan. He met his wife Renee at a dance in Bangor while on a posting with the Territorial Army. They later married and came to Norwich because Sam was working with British Olivetti at the time.
Sam admitted to being involved with clairvoyancy and hypnotism back in the 1980s and was once a Freemason. His life changed round when his daughter Christine and wife Renee both became Christians. Then one day he went drinking in the Vauxhall Tavern in Norwich. “I saw myself sitting there talking and drinking rubbish with people who only wanted my money,” Sam told the Good News for Norwich newspaper, back in 1995.
At that very moment, Christine and Renee were at home together praying that he would be convicted about his drinking. “I’ve always been a doubting Thomas,” said Sam. “But I have no doubt that God is there now, because he treats me as an individual and has overcome any doubts I may have had.”
Sam’s funeral takes place at  12.30pm on Thursday October 2 at Drayton Hall.

If you would like to pay a tribute or post a memory of Sam, please do so below.

Published: 02/10/2008