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Family pays tribute to 'talented' youth worker who made a film in his final year

PUBLISHED: 11:03 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:35 23 November 2016

Dan Lawrence, a youth worker who wrote a feature film, has died

Dan Lawrence, a youth worker who wrote a feature film, has died

Archant

The family of a youth worker who died just over two weeks after the premier of his feature film have paid tribute to a "talented" son and brother who "made our lives much richer".

Dan Lawrence, a youth worker, was 25 when he died on November 21, having been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in January 2015.

His parents Paul and Jacky Lawrence, along with Dan’s brother, Ben Lawrence, have paid tribute to a man who “you could always rely on and who made everything seem okay.”

Mr Lawrence’s wife, Kim Lawrence, who he married in 2014, said: “I will treasure the time we had together. He showed me what it really means to be humble and gentle and generous.”

In a statement Mr Lawrence’s parents and brother said: “Right from the start when the diagnosis was given of an inoperable brain tumour, Daniel never made things difficult for us, his family or anyone else. He didn’t complain or say ‘why me?’. He never blamed anyone, he just got on as best he could.

“Daniel was always a deep thinker and he always had a plan. His faith in the Lord Jesus was unshakeable and he and his wife Kim, have both lived out their faith in the most beautiful of ways.

“Daniel, for us as both son and brother, was always the quieter one. The person who you could always rely on and who made everything seem okay.

“He was deeply talented as a musician and in so many other ways, too many to list. But in all these things, very unassuming and never big headed. We, along with so many, already miss Daniel very deeply, and yet both he and we know that his eternity is secure and his life never ending in the hands of God.

“He has made our lives much richer over these twenty-five years and the last two years in particular. He would not want us to end on a sad note, so to all those people, ourselves included, who gave him many free coffees, lunches, gifts and even mowed his lawn - he might say; “Thanks, I was worth it.”

Following his diagnosis in January 2015 Mr Lawrence began writing a film script titled ‘Looking to Eternity’ which became an 80-minute feature film that premiered at the Hollywood Cinema, in Dereham on November 4. Mr Lawrence and his wife, Kim, attended the premier.

Ang Fox, director of Christian youth group North Breckland YFC, who set up the organisation in partnership with Dan in 2011, said: “For me words are not really adequate to tell of my friend Dan. His actions were the thing that spoke of his love and passion for Christ, and his compassion for others.

“His quirky fun-loving ability to encourage and champion others above himself pointed them to his heavenly father. For Dan it was about elevating Christ, the person who gave him hope and strength. I am very thankful to have journeyed with him and I know we shall meet again.”

Looking to Eternity, which follows the story of John, played by Joshua Gould, 21, a “grumpy” man given a path in life he doesn’t intend, was made by a team of 22 children and teenagers and 8 adults from North Breckland Youth for Christ.

The Christian group, Youth for Christ, and the faith that was part of it, were a central part of life for Dan, who began working as a youth worker at YFC in 2010 before setting up the Breckland branch with Mrs Fox in 2011.

If you would like to pay tribute to Dan Lawrence, email Hannah Lawrence at hannah.lawrence@archant.co.uk.

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