Family and Watton community bid farewell to ‘our dear Rod’

Watton teacher and priest the Rev Rod Broughall who has died aged 83.

Watton teacher and priest the Rev Rod Broughall who has died aged 83. - Credit: Submitted

A much-loved teacher and church minister, who was known for bringing his sermons to life with sock puppets, has died aged 83.

The Rev Rod Broughall lived in Watton for 45 years, first working at Watton Community Primary School, now Wayland Junior Academy Watton, before retiring early to join the church.

The Rev Broughall began training to be a priest in 1995 before being ordained in 1996 and then made a priest in 1997.

Although he took his role seriously he used his experience from teaching to try to engage youngsters by making his services fun.

His son Simon Broughall said: 'Dad was very well known in the community.

'There were some people who he taught, then married and then he might christen their children.

'He couldn't say no and so many people would request him.

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'It has been comforting to see so many people from different walks of life wanting to pay tribute to him.'

Caroline Wheeler, his daughter, said: 'We knew how special he was to us but we didn't know how many other lives he touched.

'He was a gentle gentleman. He was so humble, didn;t blow his own trumpet and didn't like to be the centre of attention.'

In 1951 the Rev Broughall signed up for his national service with the RAF and he spent most of his time in Egypt.

During his time with the forces the Rev Broughall, who had a reputation for being a little clumsy, accidently let his gun off while sitting in the front of a truck causing his colleagues to hit the deck as they thought they were under fire.

At various times the Rev Broughall served as chairman of Watton and District Christian Aid and Watton Churches Together as well as involving himself with the Watton Festival, Wayland Players and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

He had been suffering from neurological issues and as he was unable to attend his beloved church the Rev Gerry Foster, vicar at St Mary's, brought the congregation to him for a service at his bedside.

The Rev Broughall's coffin will be in St Mary's Church, Watton, on Thursday, February 11, from 10am for friends to say goodbye before his cremation the following day. A service of celebration will be held at St Mary's Church on Friday, February 12 from 1.30pm. All are welcome.

Family flowers only, but donations, if desired, for Sue Ryder or Norfolk Wildlife Trust may be left at the service or sent c/o Eirlys Johnson Funeral Services, 87 High Street, Watton, IP25 6AW.

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