Shock as Norfolk priest dies at climate summit
2009: Popular Norfolk priest, industrial chaplain, politician and climate campaigner Rev Canon Hereward Cooke
died in his sleep on December 15, 2009, while in Copenhagen
for the United Nations Climate Change Conference
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, paid tribute saying: “Hereward Cooke was widely loved and appreciated, as a pastoral priest, an industrial chaplain, a Norwich City Councillor and, most recently as our Diocesan Environmental Officer.
“It was in that capacity that he was at the Copenhagen Conference and entirely typical that he cycled there. Hereward had a zest for life and was always positive about the potential of his fellow men and women. He lived life in the fullness which God promises. We will miss him badly, and our prayers are with Diana and their family.”
Canon Cooke came to Norwich in 1989 as Diocesan Industrial Missioner and as Team Vicar in the parish of St Peter Parmentergate with St John, Timberhill. In 1993 he became Senior Industrial Chaplain and Rural Dean of Norwich East.
Over a period of 15 years, Hereward acted as chaplain to a number of companies including Archant, Colman’s, Norwich Union (now Aviva), Anglia Television and Marks and Spencer. He became a trustee of the Norwich Unemployment Network and the Redundancy Advice Network.
In 1997 he was made an Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral. His other roles included Assistant Priest of St Peter Mancroft and Priest-in-Charge of St Stephen’s, Norwich.
In 2000, Hereward became involved in local politics as local Councillor for the Lakenham Ward and went on to be Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the City Council.
Hereward, who was 70, retired last year and earlier this year he moved with his wife, Diana, to Blakeney where he continued to minister and to take up the role of Diocesan Environmental Officer. It was in this capacity that he was in Copenhagen at the time of his death. He was with a team of 25 campaigners for a 150-mile fundraising cycle ride on behalf of Christian Aid.
Hereward is survived by Diana, and their son, Arthur, and daughter, Frances.
The funeral of Canon Hereward Cooke is to be at St Nicholas' Church, Blakeney, on Wednesday 30th December at 2pm. The service will be conducted by the Priest-in-Charge of the Glaven Valley Benefice, the Revd Neil Batcock; tributes will be paid by family and friends, and the address will be given by the Bishop of Norwich.
The Church of St Peter Mancroft in Norwich is to welcome those who are unable to travel to Blakeney for the service. The Church will be open from 10am-3pm on Wednesday 30th December for those who would like to remember Hereward, and there will be the opportunity to light a candle and sign a book of condolence. Special prayers will be said at 2pm and again at 3pm, marking the beginning and conclusion of the funeral service in Blakeney
Click here to read our story about Hereward's cycle ride to Copenhagen
Please add your tributes to, or memories of, Hereward below.