Popular Great Yarmouth curate says goodbye

James Stewart

James Stewart - Credit: Archant

The nave of St Nicholas Minster in Great Yarmouth was packed with friends saying farewell to a popular curate at his last service.

Senior curate James Stewart, who has been appointed Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich and coordinator for social and community concerns in the Diocese, took part in his final services in Great Yarmouth on Sunday.

He celebrated the eucharist in the morning at the Minster and the Rector Chris Terry, in his sermon, paid tribute to James’ three years of work within the parish in a number of fields in his preaching, his leading of worship and pastoral care and the way in which he had carried out his roles with cheerfulness and energy.

He said his ability to listen and relate to people from all walks of life was an attribute which the parish would miss greatly.

In the evening there was a final special service to say farewell to James.

The Mayor, Cllr Marlene Fairhead, and High Steward Henry Cator both attended the service.

The congregation was treated to another of James’ many hats as “Reverend Brownie” as he performed an instructive egg trick in the nave watched with wide eyes by some of the children in the congregation whom he had called up to participate.

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In his final sermon he drew together his time in the parish under the recently topical theme of “Better Together” remarking he had a Scottish father and an English mother both of whom were in the congregation to hear him speak.

He mentioned especially his work for the church’s Pathway Café in the Minster Mission building in the south of the town, which he had helped to create, and the café organisers produced an imaginative for the large congregation.

Churchwarden Michael Boon presented James with a cheque which comprised donations from his many friends in Yarmouth and spoke for the laity of the parish, in wishing him well for the future.

He said James’ time in Yarmouth had been a happy one and he wished him well in his future career in the church. He said he had no doubt James’ abilities as a juggler, in keeping many balls in the air at the same time, would be often called upon by the Bishop.

He concluded by commenting the parish’s loss was the Bishop’s gain and that he hoped the many friends James had made in the town would continue to see him on occasions in his busy new life.

In response, James said he was overwhelmed by the number of his friends who had attended the service. He thanked everyone for his gift and said he acquired something by which he would remember Great Yarmouth. He added he was touched by seeing so many of those with whom he had worked attend his final service and he would recall his time in the parish and also the many friends he had made in the town with great affection.