Two Norfolk clergymen led lives of service

AlanNeech4002011: Canon Alan Neech

Canon Alan Neech, who spent more than 30 years as a missionary in northern India, has died aged 95.
He spent the last third of his life in south Norfolk having retired in 1981 to help the Bramerton group of Churches. Four years later, he became rural dean of Loddon in 26 parishes serving until 1990.
Born at Oulton Broad, he felt called to missionary work at the Keswick Convention in the Lake District after studying theology at Tyndale Hall, Bristol, in 1934.
He sailed for India aged 21 and preached his first sermon after 13 months in India and working in the diocese of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
He married American-born Evalyn, who was a missionary doctor in the Punjab, in 1940 where they brought up their three children.
In 1966, he became general secretary of what is now known as the Crosslinks Society and returned to England. His travels took him to Africa, when he was made a canon in 1972, for the second time, of Tanzania as a tribute to the work of the society.
For nine years, he was chairman of the Council of the Keswick Convention, which was dedicated to the deepening of spiritual life. He also twice visited Japan and also the United States. He was a chairman of the Conference of British Missionary Societies and was also chairman of Trinity College, Bristol.

2011: Venerable Roy Southwell

A retired archdeacon, the Venerable Roy Southwell, who has died in his 97th year, retired to Sprowston, near Norwich, about 30 years ago, and became warden to the Community of All Hallows, Ditchingham, for six years until 1989.
Born in Sudbury, he read theology at King’s College, London, and then became a priest in 1943, first in Wigan, then Southwark, London.
He returned to his native Suffolk as vicar of Ixworth in 1948, then in Bury St Edmunds and was appointed a Canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. He then became archdeacon of Northolt, Middlesex.
He was married for 62 years and leaves a widow, Nancy. Two daughters and a grandson. A funeral service will be held at Thorpe St Andrew Church on Thursday, August 11 at 2.45pm.

Published: 03/08/2011