Warm tributes paid to vicar 'who always had time for people'
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Touching tributes have been paid to the Rev Jonathan Boston, who played a key role in communities around Norfolk.
The Rev Boston died earlier this month from a blood clot, following a diagnosis of lung cancer.
“He was always happy to talk to people - he always had time for people and was very much a man of duty,” said his son, James.
“A key part of his ministry was pastoral care. He was all about looking after people,” he added.
He was well-known as the rector of Litcham’s All Saints Church and its surrounding parishes from 1997 to 2006, but had served other Norfolk communities for decades.
He had previously been vicar at Horsford & St Faith’s, near Norwich, from 1970 to 1997, and prior to that had been curate at nearby Eaton, from 1964.
“He served for a number of years as police chaplain with Norfolk Constabulary, and had a lifetime career with Norfolk army cadets, both as a cadet and then coming back as chaplain until he retired,” said Mr Boston.
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For 50 years, he volunteered with the Alderman Norman Foundation, latterly as committee chairman.
“He liked to play the organ - he never classed himself an expert, but always enough to get through the service when the organist couldn’t make it,” said Mr Boston.
The Rev Boston also restarted the 34th Norwich scout group at Eaton and later founded a new troop at Horsford & St Faith’s, where there had previously been no scouts.
“When he moved into the vicarage [at Horsford & St Faith’s] at the age of 29, I think the first Saturday he was there, a group of local lads turned up on the doorstep and said ‘We’ve heard you ran scouts - are you going to do some scouts here?’”
“A lot of them are still in touch with us,” Mr Boston said, adding that his father also ran the choir at St Faith's.
Neighbours and friends Karen and Daniel Moore said: “He was a true gentleman of the Church, a man of high morals and strong convictions who manifested great kindness.
“He knew and had time for everybody and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Norfolk - a county of which he was immensely proud.”
In Litcham’s Church and Village magazine, churchwardens Richard Vogt and John Birkbeck wrote that the Rev Boston would be much missed: “Although we all knew that Jonathan was ill and undergoing treatment it was a great shock to us to hear that he had died so suddenly and unexpectedly.
“Jonathan was a friend to all in Litcham and his passing will leave a great void in the village scene. He had inherited his pastoral style from his father, Canon Noel Boston, and made no distinction between churchgoers and any other person that he met.
“There will be many of us who will miss the daily chat on the way to the shop or even the wave through the window to those who have to spend time indoors. It is hard to pass his house and realise that he is not going to be standing outside to greet us.”
Paul Marchant, who had produced the magazine with Rev Boston, said he was “a good friend who had time for people, with a true Christian attitude to life. We will miss him.”
As the Rev Boston was a founding member of the Breckland Land Rover Club, two Land Rovers will be each driven by the Rev’s two sons in the funeral cortège, with an ex-military forward control Land Rover serving as the hearse.
The funeral cortège will pass through Beeston via the Ploughshare, arriving at Litcham All Saints around 11.10am on Thursday July 1.
A procession will proceed up Church Street and Front Street stopping at Bevan House before leaving for a private funeral.
Friends wishing to pay respects are warmly invited to join the procession or line the route from the Church to Bevan House.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
Rev Boston was the beloved husband of his late wife Vivien and late daughter Elinor. He is survived by his sister Anthea, and sons James and Charles. 24.7.1940 - 13.6.2021