Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Leiston: Retired vicar tells of desire to raise money for good causes after cancer fight

12:00 28 December 2012

Canon Basil Jenkyns and his wife Jean were robbed at knife point in their home. 
Basil has decided to forgive the the person who did this to them.

Canon Basil Jenkyns and his wife Jean were robbed at knife point in their home. Basil has decided to forgive the the person who did this to them.

Archant

A RETIRED vicar has spoken of his desire to support the life saving causes to which he says he owes so much.

shares

Basil Jenkyns, who holds the title of Canon of Wells Cathedral in Somerset, has raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities over the last few years.

The 82-year-old, who lives in Leiston with his wife, Jean, 83, was diagnosed with the disease shortly after his retirement while living in Wales in 1997.

He said: “A man said to me: ‘Aren’t you bitter. You are a vicar, you have been to church. Don’t you feel resentful’. However, Christianity is not an insurance policy. I remember a marvellous doctor saying to me ‘God puts his best soldiers on the front line’.

“Providing I could have got over it I wish I’d had the experience when I first started as a parish priest. I’ve dealt with people with cancer all my life but until you have it yourself you don’t know exactly what the challenges are. I would have talked a lot more sense.”

Canon Jenkyns said the doctors did not hold out much hope and a gruelling course of treatment and chemotherapy left him feeling a “physical wreck”.

However he made a determined recovery and decided he wanted to raise money for cancer research charities by opening up his garden

The first event raised £500 but they grew in stature every year - forcing him to switch to a larger venue. The success continued when he and his wife, who have been married 52 years, moved to a new village, with Canon Jenkyns persuading a number of other people to open up their gardens as well.

The events raised £25,000 in total - something he was keen to continue when the couple moved to Leiston in 2009 to be closer to their daughter, who lives in Langham, near Colchester, and son, who has a house in Aldeburgh.

“I knew that I wanted to continue,” he said. “I was back to full fitness and I owed so much to the people who research cancer treatment.

“When I first started if you were diagnosed with cancer it meant curtains - that’s not the case now. Although you still have a long way to go the advances have been phenomenal. I’m hoping that gene therapy will be the end of this terrible, terrible disease.”

His garden proved too small to open to members of the public so he decided to offer his services as a lecturer - something he had also done in Wales.

He now gives talks to local groups on a variety of topics - and his diary for 2013 is already starting to fill up.

“I’m giving lectures all over the place now for various good causes - Cancer Research UK, MacMillan, the cinema supporters club, the Long Shop Museum,” the grandfather of five said. “If it’s a local cause them I’m absolutely delighted.”

shares

0 comments

Suffolk County Council headquarters; Endeavour House, Ipswich.

How Suffolk schools are rated by local education chiefs is being kept secret – because they say releasing the information is “not in the public interest”.

Some of the floral tributes left by the community

A Suffolk businessman who murdered his estranged wife with an axe before jumping to his death from a town centre car park was treated at a mental health unit the week before the tragedy, an inquest has heard.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two people in Leiston earleir this year.

A fifth person has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a man and a teenage boy in Leiston in April.

Kitchen fire is extinguished in Lowestoft.

Fire crews from Lowestoft have extinguished a kitchen blaze.

A sign of things to come? Not quite!

After Scottish and Welsh devolution, the government has turned its attention to how to transfer more powers to local people in England.

Arrests made over shop ram raid.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a ram raid at a convenience store in Ipswich last Thursday.

Two men arrested over filling station burglary in Ipswich.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the burglary of a petrol station on the Chantry estate in Ipswich.

Police are investigating the incident

Police are investigating a burglary at a garden centre in Sturmer, Essex.

Robbie Warner

A day held in memory of a 19-year-old from Suffolk who died while at university has raised more than £5,000.

Catesby House in Sudbury

Residents of a west Suffolk market town take pride in telling visitors that it is the birthplace of the famous artist Thomas Gainsborough.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages