Tributes paid to Norwich church leader Murray

MurrayNormanBy Mike Wiltshire
2010: Many tributes have been paid this week to Murray Norman, a much-loved leader at Norwich Family Life Church for 36 years, who died at home on Sunday morning, May 30, aged 61.

“Murray had such a pastoral heart – his life touched almost everyone at the church,” said church members, recalling his ministry as a gifted Bible teacher, mentor, “man of prayer, an encourager and friend of all . . . he connected with people from all walks of life.” 

Born in Southwold, Suffolk, he was first influenced by the Gospel as a child through a CSSM beach mission, but became a committed Christian at 19. He and his wife, Gillian, were church life group leaders for almost 30 years in the Taverham area. Murray and Gillian, a former health education officer, met at the church (then called Mount Zion), and were married at 26.

Today, their son, Jon, 31, is a pastor with Hillsong Church, Capetown. Their daughter, Joy, 32, (married to Nathan), is a fitness instructor in Norwich. Jon, whose wife, Chantel, is a worship leader, was able to fly home to see his dad who was fighting the recurrence of leukaemia.

Senior Pastor Trevor Pimlott said: “Murray was probably one of the most loved people in our church. He connected with all age groups with his genuine care and concern.”

Murray also had “a great knowledge and understanding of the Word of God - He kept us all right doctrinally,” added Pastor Trevor. “His love for Israel and the persecuted church was always important to him.”

As a keen historian, Murray made an in-depth study of Christian revivals that occurred between 1850 and 1910 – yet, he also loved contemporary worship styles.

In his working life, Murray, who lived in Taverham, was self-employed, mainly because it gave him greater freedom in Christian ministry, says Gillian. “He didn’t just have generous moments, but he was a deeply generous man.”

A week before he died, Murray, though ill, managed to attend the 45th anniversary service of NFLC, as the church he loved celebrated its new home at a spacious industrial unit on Mason’s Road, North Norwich. “He will be greatly missed by us all,” said Pastor Trevor.

A celebration Service for the life of Murray Norman will be held at Norwich Cathedral on Tuesday June 8 at 12 noon, all are welcome. There is a committal service at St Edmunds Church, Taverham at 2.30pm and a reception at Norwich Family Life Centre, Mason Road, Norwich, NR6 6RF to which all are welcome.

Donations in lieu of flowers, will go towards building a disabled children's home in Tembaletu, Cape Town, South Africa, which Murray visited last year. More details at www.hillsong.co.za

Pictured above is Murray Norman


Please add your memories, thoughts or tributes to Murray below.

Published: 02/06/2010