Norwich tributes for 'true priest, pastor and friend'

St George's, Tombland, Norwich has announced that its former priest-in-charge, Rev Canon John Minns, peacefully passed away at home yesterday (December 30).

In April 2018, Fr John retired after 27 years of faithful service with the Norwich city centre church of St George's, Tombland; a ministry that saw the congregation grow and secured the church’s future as a place of worship.

An announcement yesterday on the St George’s Facebook page said: “Fr John had not been well for some time and we pray that he is now with his Lord and Saviour whom he faithfully served, without thought for himself, throughout his life. We pray for and remember his wife Jane and her family at this sad time.”

Bishop Graham James spoke at Fr John's final service in 2018, saying: "John’s pastoral care of the flock of Christ has not been simply diligent, it’s been outstanding.  And why?  Because John has loved every square inch of this church, every stone within it, and especially the living stones, all of you... We know he has spent himself physically as well as spiritually as a shepherd at St George’s, Tombland. 

“John, you’ve reminded us of what God looks like.  God looks like Jesus the good shepherd.  He looks like the teacher by the lakeside.  He looks like the saviour hanging on the cross.  He looks like the one who is made known to us in the breaking of bread.  Christ the good shepherd laid down his life and was raised to life again so that we may become sons and daughters of God ourselves.  Such have been the possibilities released by John’s ministry here.  And that’s why today we give the most profound thanks for John and for Jane.”
St George’s said: “Fr John was a true priest, pastor and friend. We give our most profound thanks for Fr John's life, love, ministry and friendship. May he rest in peace and rise in glory - a true and faithful servant.”
John’s original profession was as an architect and whilst continuing to practice he was made a deacon in 1985 and ordained as a priest in 1986. Initially he served as the Honorary Assistant Priest at St Barnabas, Norwich but left there in 1991 to take up his duties as Priest in Charge of St George, Tombland.
John Brydon, Churchwarden at St George, Tombland said: “At that time this city centre church was experiencing a decline in its congregation and its future as a place of worship was in question. John’s faith and welcoming personality soon made an impact and slowly the congregation grew and the future of the church as a place of worship was secured.

Scores of people paid tribute to Fr John on the St George's Facebook page, and you can read them here.

Read our story on Fr John when he retired last year.

Pictured above is Fr John Minns (left) at his retirement service with Bishop Graham James.

Please add your memories of Fr John below.

(Guest) 02/01/2020 16:41
A truly great servant of the Lord. Very sadly missed.
(Guest) 09/01/2020 12:21
Dear John was a true friend to Richard and myself , Sandra . He officiated my daughter Karen wedding . Attended Vanessa wedding . I'm so sad John ended his life in pain . Our family extends heart felt thoughts to dear Jane , also , as she also dedicated her life caring for others . From Richard and Sandra Minns.

Published: 02/01/2020