'Her love of life shone through' - tributes to much-loved priest

Rev Jane Holmes outside Gayton church

Rev Jane Holmes shortly after she took up her ministry at Gayton, Grimston and Great Massingham in 2011 - Credit: Ian Burt

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved priest after she lost her battle with cancer.

The Rev Jane Holmes served the west Norfolk parishes of Grimston, Gayton and Great Massingham for 10 years.

She passed away on Monday, February 8, at the age of 63, with her brother and sister at her side.

An online book of remembrance has been opened for Ms Holmes, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last August.

A foreword from the Benefice of Gayton, Grimston and Great Massingham says: "She was concerned about all aspects of village life and met so many people through her work.

"She never conducted a wedding without sharing in the joy of the bride and groom, she never led a funeral without feeling the sadness of the bereaved.

"Jane will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we all hold happy memories of of her."

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Ian Bentley, Archdeacon of Lynn, said:  "Her sense of fun and her love of life always shone through. She loved her ministry.

"When I spoke to her over these last months she would get enthused about all that was happening locally and in the wider church. He mind and spirit were strong although her body was failing. 

"In her illness, her personal faith shone through. She knew where she was going. She will be much missed locally and in our diocese."

Parishioner Linda Adams said: "Jane was such a lovely lady, with a very big heart, full of happiness and she had an infectious smile that made you smile back, a really amazing person who will be sorely missed."

Nell Steele posted: "Jane, the snowdrops are out, carpeting woods and gardens. You remind me of them. Like them, you are unassuming, beautiful, and a powerful message of hope, warmth and joy."

Ms Holmes, who grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire, described herself as "a rural girl". She said of herself: "After many years of soul searching I followed my calling, left behind a career in finance and banking, and trained for ministry. 

"Ordained in 2007, I came to Gayton in January, 2011 and I have to say I find my work here an absolute privilege. Great people, great place and a great team."