A correspondent writes:
CANON Richard Henry Norburn, who died on 15 November, aged 85, was born in Bedfordshire and educated at Bedford School. After National Service, he went on to read history at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, before training for ministry at Wycliffe Hall — during which time he met his wife-to-be Joyce.
He had a keen interest in sport; he played rugby as a young man, a sport he continued to follow avidly. He became president of Rougham Cricket Club, where his sons and grandson now play, and supported his daughter’s great love of horses. Latterly, he thoroughly enjoyed following the success of his youngest granddaughter, Lucy, who represented England in the under-18’s touch rugby team in the European Championship.
Ordained to serve as Assistant Curate of St Gregory’s and St Peter’s, Sudbury, in 1959, he was Diocesan Youth Officer from 1965 to 1974, when he became the Rector of Ampton with Little Livermere and Ingham and Curate-in-Charge of Great Livermere. He became Rector of all in 1991, Barnham was added to his patch in 1992, and he remained in the Blackbourne Team Ministry until retirement in 1997. He was also Rural Dean of Thingoe from 1978 to 1988, and made Hon. Canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in 1981.
It was during his time in theses parishes that he recognised the community’s need for hospice care. He founded St Nicholas Hospice Care in 1984, and, in 1987, alongside his position as trustee, he became the hospice’s president.
In addition to serving on many diocesan boards and committees, he was involved in the healing and deliverance ministry, and, for more than 35 years, he was active with Churches Together in Bury St Edmunds and District: he served as chairman and was on its management and unity groups.
He chaired the ecumenical counselling group Time to Listen and the Ecumenical Healing Ministry Group, was a trustee and patron of Bury St Edmunds Ecumenical Centre Trust, and a trustee of Bury St Edmunds and District Christian Youth.
With an interest in local history, Richard supported local groups, and gave his time to several organisations, including Suffolk Association of Youth and Shelter, He helped to restart the YMCA in Bury St Edmunds, and later was involved with the Prince’s Trust.
Having spent more than 50 years in the Anglican ministry in Suffolk, Richard was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours in 1997 for services to the community. He was also awarded the Order of the Red Triangle by the YMCA for long service, and the High Sheriff of Suffolk’s Life Time Achievement Award in 2015.
He was married to Joyce, for 59 years. He had four children, Andrew, Carol, Chris, and David, and six grandchildren, five of whom survive him.