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Tributes paid to former church warden involved in Kit Chalcraft affair

John Davies, a former church warden who lived near Watton, has died. Picture by Rebecca Graham

John Davies, a former church warden who lived near Watton, has died. Picture by Rebecca Graham

Rebecca Graham

A former church warden who was a key player in a Church of England scandal 20 years ago has been remembered by his wife as a witty and intelligent man.

John Davies was a prominent supporter of a Norfolk parish priest who was denounced by the Church of England in the 1990s.

After a life dedicated to the farming industry and the church, Mr Davies died earlier this month aged 73.

His funeral was held on December 16, where at least 200 people came to pay their respects.

His wife of 49 and a half years Diana, 72, said he was remembered as “an intelligent man with very strong views”.

“He was always controversial, but he liked being controversial.

“He had great charm and a great intelligence and was interested in almost anything.”

While working as a church warden Mr Davies was a steadfast supporters of the Rev Kit Chalcraft, a former priest of ten parishes around Oxborough who had his license revoked in 1994 after refusing to abandon plans for his third marriage.

Mr and Mrs Davies, who lived near Watton and were parishioners of Mr Chalcraft, were hearty supporters of him.

Mrs Davies described her husband as “Kit’s right hand man”.

“He supported Kit and went to meetings with the bishop for him.

“There were several people who were very much for Kit and against what the Church of England did.

“What they did was outrageous – they came to an agreement and then broke it.”

Despite his deep involvement with the scandal, the church was not Mr Davies’ primary vocation.

Originally from Wales, where his father was a farmer, he moved to Norfolk in the 1970s and worked as a land agent for farming estates.

He was managing director of farm management company Velcourt Ltd for ten years before leaving to work as an independent land agent.

His other great love was his home region, the Brecks, a love which he practised as a founder member of the Breckland Society.

Mrs Davies added that her husband had remained “fiercely Welsh”.

Send your tributes to Mr Davies to newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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