Farmer's church legacy

A WORSHIPPER has left part of his £8 million legacy to the Church in Suffolk which is thought to be one of the largest ever bequests to the diocese.Farmer Joseph Causton CBE, who served the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese and was a former chairman of the diocesan board of finance, left £800,000 to the board after making his money through an investment portfolio and his farming estate.

A WORSHIPPER has left part of his £8 million legacy to the Church in Suffolk which is thought to be one of the largest ever bequests to the diocese.

Farmer Joseph Causton CBE, who served the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese and was a former chairman of the diocesan board of finance, left £800,000 to the board after making his money through an investment portfolio and his farming estate.

Mr Causton's portfolio was valued at about £3.8 million and his Brightwell estate sold recently for £4.3 million. The Brightwell estate, south of Martlesham Heath, included a six-bedroom country house, a two-bedroom bungalow, farm buildings and about 124 acres.

Mr Causton died in June 1987, aged 82 and his estate was held for the benefit of his wife Nancy, with the money passing to the Church after her death at 98 on March 28.


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Mr Causton's will left 90% of his fortune to his family, and 10% to the diocese and the windfall comes after the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, The Rt Rev Richard Lewis, pleaded with Suffolk's 22,000 churchgoers to give more.

Bishop Richard is reviewing how much he donates to the Church and had asked others to do so too, because without more funds the Church may have to scale back its work and could spark a reduction in clergy numbers.

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He said: "This is a wonderful legacy given to us by a very long standing servant of the diocese. His generosity will be put to very good use during the years to come.''

Geoffrey Grant, rural dean for the Felixstowe peninsula, said the couple were extremely well known locally, fully involved in Church life, and Mr Causton had also been a judge for the Suffolk Show.

Mr Causton first joined the diocesan board of finance in 1948 and was elected its chairman during 1958, a role he would continue to serve in for 18 years until December 1976.

He was a member of the Diocesan Synod, the Suffolk Church's parliament, the Bishop's Council on which he had served as a chairman, and had been active with other Church committees.

Known as Jock, Mr Causton not only farmed at Brightwell but was a company director. He joined R and W Paul in 1926 and was appointed a director in 1935. He took over as managing director of the malt division from 1947 to 1966 and when Pauls and Whites was formed in 1963, he was appointed to the board.

In 1966 he was appointed managing director and became chairman in 1967. He retired in 1973, remaining with the company until 1975 as a non-executive director.

Stephen Rider , financial secretary for the diocese, said that the substantial legacy will generate interest to provide income for the Suffolk Church in future years.

Mr Rider said Mr Causton's generosity underlines the Bishop's recent plea for people to review their giving, as well as considering leaving a legacy to help fund their work.

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