Town fan bishop remembered as man of strong faith, deep humanity and love

Former Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese the Rt Rev John Waine

The former Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese the Rt Rev John Waine opening the new extension of Kelsale Primary School with pupils Millie Gordon and Charlie Williams in 2015 - Credit: SIMON PARKER

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved former Suffolk bishop who continued to serve the church until just a few days before he died aged 90.

The Rt Rev John Waine served as bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich from 1978 to 1986, having previously been bishop suffragan of Stafford from 1975 to 1978. He left Suffolk for the role of bishop of Chelmsford, serving from 1986 to 1996.

He was a committed Ipswich Town fan and loved to also watch cricket at Lords.

Bishop John Waine visits Halesworth Primary School December 1982

Bishop John Waine visiting Halesworth Primary School December 1982 - Credit: ARCHANT

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “There are so many people across Suffolk and Essex who mourn his death and have cherished memories of John.

 “He served as a remarkable example and guide to the bishops who succeeded him in Suffolk, as well as to countless others for more than 20 years since his retirement back to the county which he loved.   

“John was active taking services regularly in and around Grundisburgh until he fell ill before Christmas, and chaired the Retired Clergy Association in Suffolk too.   

The Welcome and Enthronement of the Rt Rev Martin Seeley as the 11th Bishop of St Edmundsbury

The Welcome and Enthronement of the Rt Rev Martin Seeley as the 11th Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at the Cathedral Church of St James and St Edmunds in Bury St Edmunds. Bishop Martin with former Bishops of St Edmundsbury John Waine, left, and John Dennis, who also died last year - Credit: ANDY ABBOTT

“I have personally valued his wisdom and his counsel, and his ability to get the measure of what was really important. Our prayers and our thoughts are with his family.”

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Rev Canon Philip Need, of the Diocese of Chelmsford, said: "Commanding huge respect for his tact, wisdom and insight, Bishop John always tried to see both sides of a situation and was careful in his handling of those who perhaps felt that their view had not prevailed.

"With an incredible gift of humour - his responses were always perfectly well-timed - and a great ability to charm others, his ministry of encouragement, support and friendship was appreciated and will be remembered by many.

Rt Revd John Waine and Revd Andrew Dotchin sing hymns at the rededication of the war memorial

Rt Rev John Waine and Rev Andrew Dotchin at the rededication of the war memorial at St Mary's Church in Akenham in 2015 - Credit: SU ANDERSON

"Throughout his ministry John was constantly supported by his wife, Pat, who survives him along with their three sons Stephen, Ian and Simon, their wives, and seven grandchildren. A devoted family man, he enjoyed seeing each of them flourish in their own lives and interests.

"Often described as one of the last Prince Bishops of the Church, he had, in his heart a strong faith, a deep humanity and a real love of those around him."

Soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade gat

Rt Rev John Waine greets soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade gather in the St Edmundsbury Cathedral for a Service of Thanksgiving, Remembrance and Hope - Credit: ANDY ABBOTT

BIshop John spent 20 years as a parish priest in Liverpool at the start of his career, and during his time in Essex he served the Queen as Clerk of the Closet, took his seat on the bench of Bishops in the House of Lords and was chairman of the Church Commissioners. He also served on the Press Complaints Commission and a number of other bodies.

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