Tributes as 'Action Bishop' of Norwich dies

MauriceWoodGoKartWeb2007: The former Bishop of Norwich, Maurice Wood, has died almost a year after celebrating his 90th birthday with an outdoor service.

Bishop of Norwich from 1971 to 1985, he will be remembered for the energetic way he led the diocese, lifting the lives of thousands of people across Norfolk and north east Suffolk.

As bishop, he was always willing to join in enthusiastically and it was as likely that Bishop Maurice would be photographed in his formal regalia as it was to see him racing around on a go-kart, playing hockey or broadcasting to a radio audience.

Bishop Maurice, who died on Sunday June 24, 2007, was 90 last August and marked the occasion by preaching at an outdoor service at Wroxham Bridge. He had recently moved back to the county after two decades away.

But the appeal of the Norfolk landscape was often in his thoughts.

MauriceMargaretWoodWebHe spent much of his childhood at the home of his step-grandfather, who was rector of Saxlingham Nethergate in the 1920s.

An ardent Norwich City supporter, he and his family - his wife, Margaret (pictured right with Maurice), and their six children - also used to spend their holidays in a caravan parked on the estate of Major Batt at Gresham, near Sheringham.

During the second world war he was a chaplain with the Royal Marine Commandos and took part in the D-Day landings of 1944.

After he retired as Bishop of Norwich, almost 22 years ago, the couple moved to London where he was an assistant bishop of London before taking up the offer to be priest in charge of St Mark's in Englefield, near Reading, followed by a decade at a Church of England Pensions Board home in Kibworth, Leicester.

After getting permission early last year from the current Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, they returned to the county to live in a house overlooking How Hill.

Bishop Maurice said at the time: “In the same way that it is not usual for priests to retire into their parishes it is not usual for bishops to retire into their own diocese. But because we owned the cottage at Horning and wanted to live here I got in touch with Bishop Graham and he gave us both a warm welcome.”

Bishop Maurice was also known for his work with Dr Billy Graham and he helped to organise a series of worldwide crusades for the high-profile American evangelist whom he regarded as a close friend.

The Bishop of Norwich paid tribute to Bishop Maurice. He said: “Maurice Wood was a great enthusiast for the gospel and his ministry as Bishop of Norwich is remembered with great affection within the diocese.”

A private family funeral will be held followed by a formal memorial service in September.


Article and picture courtesy of www.edp24.co.uk


Please add your tributes and memories of Bishop Maurice Wood below.

Published: 26/06/2007