Maurice Green: West Norfolk clergyman was a former accountant

Rev Maurice Green

Rev Maurice Green - Credit: Archant

A former clergyman in west Norfolk for three decades, the Rev Canon Maurice Green, has died peacefully aged 78 surrounded by his family.

He was rector of the Wootton parishes, King's Lynn, for 16 years and later became vicar of St Peter and Paul, Swaffham, until ill heath forced early retirement.

After training as an accountant and spending about 10 years in industry, he decided to train for holy orders and studied at Wells Theological College, Somerset in 1968. After being ordained at Norwich Cathedral in 1970, he became curate of St Andrew's, Eaton, Norwich, where he remained for four years until moving to west Norfolk. He also had a special interest in music and enjoyed singing with Norwich Philharmonic Choir.

Born in Ipswich, Maurice Paul Green left school aged 15 and after his National Service in the army decided to become an accountant. He went to night school to study as a cost and management accountant, also working for Fisons and then joined cider markers, William Gaymer & Son, of Attleborough. In 1960, newly-married, he and his wife moved to Norwich.

While working in Attleborough, he was also secretary to St Mary's parochial church council and a churchwarden. As a layman, he was involved in the work of the Norwich diocese and for six years was director of Christian stewardship.

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He moved from Norwich in May 1974 and was inducted as rector of All Saints' Church, North Wootton with St Mary's, South Wootton, where later he also pioneered a trans-Atlantic friendship scheme.

It started in 1982 and even involved a short holiday job swap with his American counterpart from Southbury, Connecticut. In 1985, 27 people from King's Lynn visited the USA and two years later, a similar party made the return to Norfolk.

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In June 1988, he was one of three honorary cathedral canons appointed by the former bishop of Norwich, Peter Nott.

When he left the living in 1990, he was thanked by parishioners and four churchwardens sang a song specially composed for the occasion at South Wootton village hall. He was also treasurer to the South Wootton parish council.

Canon Green hoped to take up his new post as vicar of Swaffham in the spring 1990 after open heart surgery at Papworth Hospital. He had also been appointed rural dean of Lynn in 1993, when he became responsible for 23 parishes in the deanery.

In September 1995, a service at St Peter and Paul Church became a family occasion. He baptised three of his granddaughters in the same ceremony at the church – Rebekah Jane, Hannah Lucy, two months, and five-week-old Jessica Alice.

A year later he was taken to hospital after a heart attack and later retired, moving to Ipswich where he lived for about 16 years.

More recently, he moved to Brampton, near Huntingdon to live closer to their eldest daughter.

A keen walker, he was also a lifelong supporter of Ipswich Town Football Club.

Married for 54 years, he leaves a widow, Margaret, and daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah, and sons, John and James, and 11 grandchildren.

A funeral will take place on Friday, October 11 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Brampton, Huntingdon, at 1.30pm following by a service of thanksgiving on Sunday, November 3, at St Andrew's Church, Rushmere, Ipswich, at 3pm.

Michael Pollitt

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