Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > Obituaries > Tributes paid to Norwich pastor Tom Chapman

Tributes paid to Norwich pastor Tom Chapman 

Tributes have been paid to Norwich church pastor, Tom Chapman, who died on September 23 after a decade-long battle with a large brain tumour and a date for his thanksgiving service has been announced.

Tom (aged 45), who leaves wife Suzanne and four children and was senior pastor of Surrey Chapel in Norwich for 15 years, died at the Priscilla Bacon Hospice in Norwich.

Writing on Facebook earlier today, Suzanne said: “After a very difficult year, we're very sad to tell you that Tom died in the early hours. He has been a wonderful father, husband, church pastor and friend to us all, and we are delighted that he was able to remain kind, loving and selfless even in the most difficult circumstances.
“He was very confident of his eternal destiny, and would want to make it clear this confidence was based on what Christ had done for him, not his own goodness. I say this to honour his constant desire to point people towards the Christian gospel.

“Any sense of relief we anticipated is completely drowned by the sadness today.” 

Writing on his own Facebook page, two weeks ago, Tom said: “I have had a very bad year health-wise and am currently in a hospice thanks to my brain tumour. Surgery, chemo twice and radiotherapy have not worked this time. It has become exponentially more difficult for me, and for my family and church, over the last six months.

“We have been surrounded by love and faith and help on every level, and are not fundamentally rocked. We know God has a plan; we just didn't want it to be this. The disease has really taken its toll on me, but the little I am able to say includes my assertion that God is good and has poured his love into my heart. Please pray for me and my family at this very difficult time.”

Professor Mark Leake, from the University of York, knew Tom as a fellow undergraduate at King’s in Cambridge, paid tribute, saying: "It was his sheer physical energy that typified his time at university, quite relentless and boundless in drawing in his fellow students into the Christian Union.  Tom was a kind, thoughtful man who has left this world having helped many, many others. I miss him enormously. I am grateful for the time we had together. Bless you, Tom, dear friend. Passionate to the end. But never forgotten."

A Thanksgiving Service for Tom will be held at Surrey Chapel on Saturday October 7 at 11am. All are welcome.

Tom was a regular contributor to Network Norfolk and you can read some of his articles by clicking here.

Below, hear Tom speaking at the Celebrate Norfolk event in Norwich in June 2017.

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Pictured above is Tom who spoke in June at a Celebrate Norfolk breakfast in Norwich.

Please add your thoughts about Tom and tributes using the comments options below.

You can also email tribute quotes to

Trevor and Susan Palmer (Guest) 25/09/2017 11:27
its with great sadness Norwich has lost a true man off God caring pastor who loved those he meet were they were at and truly cared about the issues they were dealing with our thoughts and prays for the family at this time
Chris Murphy (Guest) 25/09/2017 20:33
I and others had the privilege to work alongside Tom in serving the poor and marginalised of the city through our CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Centre. His love, heart and care for those God put before us was motivating, wonderfully supportive and a real sign of his total commitment to live out the Biblical reminder "that the greatest of these is love". He gave many people hope beyond their earthly struggles. He changed lives and grew the kingdom. Truly missed but his legacy will live on on and on.
simon hadingham (Guest) 25/09/2017 22:41
really sorry to hear about this, such a nice man. i met him on the bus one day when i was going through a tough time and he really encouraged me, even though he was going through an even harder time than me. God bless his family.
John Myhill (Guest) 26/09/2017 16:26
Dear Lord I pray that we may grow in Faith and Humility to be more like Tom, true examples of the Way the Truth and the Light, entirely reliant on Thy Living Word.
John Kirkby Founder of CAP (Guest) 27/09/2017 12:35
It is with great sadness I received the news of Tom passing away, although I’d only meet him a few times his heart for the poor and needy in the community served by the church was a significant factor in our partnership and through the Cap debt centre many lives were reached. Our prayers are with the family left and that the legacy of lives changed will be known. John and Lizzie
Tom Chapman (Australia) (Guest) 29/09/2017 09:55
I first came across Tom Chapman (my namesake) a number of years ago, shortly after he assumed the pastoral care of Surrey Chapel, and although I did not have the privilege of meeting him personally, we had spoken by phone a number of times. I too have been blessed as I listened regularly to his preaching via the web site. We (my wife, Gwenda, and I), continue to pray that our Lord and Saviour will comfort and strengthen Suzanne and the family, as well as the Surrey Chapel fellowship.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Ps. 116:15)

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