Retired west Norfolk preacher, who has become a centenarian, still rides to church on his mobility scooter

Retired West Norfolk Methodist preacher Rev John Garfoot is celebrating his 100th birthday. Picture:

Retired West Norfolk Methodist preacher Rev John Garfoot is celebrating his 100th birthday. Picture: Ian Burt

A retired west Norfolk Methodist preacher, who was 100 yesterday, still rides his mobility scooter each week to Sunday morning service at St Faith's Church in Gaywood.

The Rev John Garfoot, who took up the computer aged 83, also writes articles for the parish magazine and has his work published in the national Methodist Recorder newspaper.

More than 100 friends and family attended a special birthday tea party at the Gaywood Church Rooms, near his home, followed by a service of thanksgiving for his long life at the nearby St Faith's Church, yesterday.

The great-grandfather said he felt 'wonderful' to be a centenarian, and added: 'I tick all the boxes as my parents lived in to their 90s.'

Born in Sutton Bridge, his father was a baker, and after attending Spalding grammar school, he studied at Nottingham university under Professor Ernest Weekley, whose German wife Frieda infamously ran off with the author DH Lawrence.

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After gaining his degree, Mr Garfoot joined the army and served with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War in Egypt, Bengazi, Cyprus and Italy, where he met his future wife.

His son Adrian Garfoot said it was during the war, and seeing the effect of the London Blitz on ordinary people, that he decided to become a minister.

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Returning to Sutton Bridge when he was demobbed, he trained to become a minister, and his first appointment was in Westgate, Count Durham.

He later served at Methodist churches in Wisbech, King's Lynn, Wymondham and Ely, before finishing his career at Swaffham.

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