Rev Peter Green: Ministry brought churches in Norfolk together

A vicar who served a long ministry in his native Norfolk, Canon Peter Green, has died two days after his 78th birthday.

He led a pioneering ecumenical project in the Norwich diocese during his 18 years as vicar of Loddon and Sisland after spending 13 years as a parish priest in the city.

It was one of his important achievements at Loddon to bring the Methodist and Anglican congregations together as one community. And the process, which had started in 1976, even forged the closest possible links with the Roman Catholic faith under the 'Church in Loddon' banner.

Peter Edwin Green who was Norwich born and bred, attended the City of Norwich School.

Then he studied at Headingley College, Leeds University, for the Methodist ministry.

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His first post as a minister was in Leicestershire and he then returned to Norfolk becoming a junior minister in the Diss circuit, living at Botesdale.

When he went into the Church of England, he trained at Lichfield Theological College and was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Norwich, Dr Launcelot Fleming, at the cathedral in December 1962. He became assistant curate at St Cuthbert's, Sprowston, for the next three years. In 1965, he became priest-in-charge of St Francis Church, which had been built in 1957 for �6,500 on the Heartsease Estate. He became the first vicar when it became a separate parish in 1969.

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After moving to Loddon, he led successful ecumenical experiments in surrounding parishes, which included the Raveningham Group and Kirby Cane. He was also a parish councillor, a governor of Hobart High School and trustee of the Loddon Charity.

Another highlight of his career was officiating at the 500th anniversary celebrations of Holy Trinity, when Lord Hobart, the 10th Earl of Buckinghamshire, presented a new stained glass window panel in June 1990. The Hobart family, which owned nearby Hales Hall, had founded the church in 1490.

For four years from 1984, he was the diocese's ecumenical officer. And in 1986, he was made honorary canon of Norwich Cathedral by Bishop Peter Nott for his outstanding work in the diocese. In December 1991, he retired and went to live at Beccles.

He had met his future wife, Pamela, when he was 13 years old at Chapelfield Methodist Church, when he had pulled her pigtails!

They had recently celebrated 54 years of marriage.

He died at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, where he had been treated for the past three weeks.

Canon Green leaves a son, Julian, and daughter, Mary, who is married to North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, and four grandsons.

A requiem mass will be held at St Benet's RC Church, Beccles, on Friday, February 4, at 2pm.

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