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THE REVD DEBORAH LOUISE ELLSON

THE Revd Louise Ellson, a talented wood-carver and former nun, who has died, aged 43, was assistant curate of St Margaret's, Lowestoft, from 2000 to 2004, when she became Rector of St Paul's, Langleybury, near Watford.

Louise trained as a teacher of physical education, and then was professed at the Community of All Hallows, Ditchingham. While living at the Ditchingham convent, she felt called to the priesthood. After training on the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course, she was ordained deacon in 2000, and priest in 2001.

Louise had a remarkable talent for wood-carving, and some of her carvings, icons of the Passion, hang in the chapel of Adele House Residential Home in Bungay. The processional cross carried by children in St Margaret's was also her design and workmanship.

Especially gifted as a worker with young people, she helped to re-create and carry on the popular Fun Weeks that are held each August and in Advent. Louise helped to make, with the late Margaret Simpson, the Noah's ark in the north aisle of St Margaret's. Children spend time in the ark during Sunday-morning services, and at occasions such as weddings.

She also led parish pilgrimages to Lindisfarne and Iona. Her 17 years as a member of the All Hallows' Community enabled her to be available for spiritual counselling and leading retreats and quiet days. Her early death from cancer leaves many people indebted to her for her friendship and her creative ministry.

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