Tributes paid to retired Norfolk vicar

Rev Dee Loxley, from Swaffham, who has died aged 73. The photo is from the day she was ordained in 1

Rev Dee Loxley, from Swaffham, who has died aged 73. The photo is from the day she was ordained in 1996. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a retired vicar who dedicated nearly three decades of her life to the church and was one of the first women in Norfolk to be ordained.

Rev Dee Loxley, who had lived in Swaffham in the latter part of her life but had previously lived in Heacham, died peacefully on August 8 after a long battle with ovarian cancer aged 73.

The married mother-of-three and grandmother-of-six first got involved with the Anglican church when she moved from Essex to Heacham in 1988.

She was encouraged to be ordained by St Mary's Church in Heacham and became a vicar in 1996 - just two years after women were first allowed to become vicars.

Mrs Loxley spent 18 years working at Heacham before she moved to Yorkshire with her husband Brian for three years.

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She became very popular in Goldsborough, near Harrogate, and about 180 people crammed into the little village church to give her a joyful send-off when she decided to return to Norfolk in 2008.

Mrs Loxley was known for her colourful jumpers and tops, and for her enthusiasm.

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Her husband Mr Loxley said: 'She was very keen to make sure people understood what being a Christian was. She was quite a dynamic creature and people used to enjoy listening to her.'

Rev Stephen Thorp, the rector of Necton, Holme Hale, South and North Pickenham, said: 'Dee was a very kind and warm hearted woman who was greatly loved and respected.

'Upon retirement she and her husband Brian decided to worship with us at Necton and 'in retirement' she offered her services to me and across the benefice.

'She was a great support to me and her kind words, encouragement and wisdom based on many years of experience was invaluable.

'Although she was ordained it was clear that she and her husband Brian were a partnership, they saw themselves 'in ministry' together. Even at the end of her life her real concern was for others.

'She was a great example to us all of what it meant to live in 'the light, hope, power and love of Christ' and she will be sorely missed.'

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