Tribute to greatly loved Norfolk priest Elaine

WoodlandRevd Elaine Constantine, amongst the first group of women to be ordained as priests in 1992, loved by hundreds as a priest, counsellor and friend, died after a long illness at the age of 63.

Most recently Rector of Earlham, Elaine  was clearly loved by hundreds as a priest and specially admired by those to whom she acted as a spiritual advisor and counsellor.

Elaine was Deaconess of St Martin’s, Bedford (1986 – 87) Parish Deacon (1987 – 88) Leighton Buzzard with Eggington, Hockliffe and Billington (1988 – 94); assistant Curate (1994 – 98) Team Vicar in the Dunstable Team Ministry (1998 – 2004). In Norfolk she was Priest in Charge of St Elizabeth’s, Earlham (2004 – 8); Rector of Earlham (2008 – 10)

Elaine had worked as a science teacher before her ordination and the environment and ecology remained important to her throughout and to the end of her life. She is to have a woodland burial.

Paying tribute, Elaine’s sister Heather said that music was one of her passions. Elaine had sung with the (then world renowned) Luton Girls Choir. She loved the music of the church. She once said that after attending a Russian orthodox service she was so moved by the music she could almost have converted on the spot! Such was the meaning of music to her. In retirement she finally found the opportunity to develop her love of singing and had passed several exams with distinction. It was her great joy to have attended Glyndebourne; an ambition she had long held.

A no less important interest in Elaine’s life was food. There cannot be a single person of her acquaintance who had not benefitted in some way in her cooking skills. Even when she was very physically weak she was creating Jubilee cupcakes beautifully decorated and exquisitely packaged for distribution to her fellow residents at Doughty's Cottages.

Everything she undertook was done with minute attention to detail and an impressive conscientiousness.

Despite having the care of St Elizabeth’s and becoming increasingly physically frail, she devoted weeks from her spare time to accompany her widowed mother on holidays.

Elaine died on June 11 2014 after a long and painful illness. Elaine's funeral will be on July 3rd at 12.30 at Norwich Cathedral followed by a private burial service at Colney Woodland.

Published: 25/06/2014