Church turmoil as reverends quit

A WALL of silence has today descended among one of Ipswich's biggest church congregations following the shock resignation of two of it's reverends. Mystery surrounds the resignation of Rev Keith White, vicar of St John the Baptist in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, and Rev Lynne Thorpe, a curate at the same church.

A WALL of silence has today descended among one of Ipswich's biggest church congregations following the shock resignation of two of it's reverends.

Mystery surrounds the resignation of Rev Keith White, vicar of St John the Baptist in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, and Rev Lynne Thorpe, a curate at the same church.

Believed to be a father of teenage children, Rev White was a professional footballer playing for Tranmere Rovers reserves before entering the ministry. He is also the chairman of governors at St John's Primary School in nearby Victory Road.

Mr White, who lives at the vicarage in Cauldwell Hall Road is said to be a family man with teenage children and had lived and served as a member of the clergy in Africa.

Ms Thorpe who lives at King Edward Road, Ipswich began her church career as a community link worker and was later ordained a priest at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Neither of the pair was at home yesterday.

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A former member of St John's PCC, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was surprised and saddened to hear of the resignation of Keith and Lynne.

“I have worked with both of them in the past on various church projects and always found them to be 100 per cent dedicated members of the clergy and inspiring Christian leaders.

“I am not aware of the reasons behind their sudden departure from St John's, but I am sure it was an extremely difficult decision for both of them to make, given how much they loved both their work and the community they served.

“Under Keith's charismatic leadership, the congregations at St John's had grown to the point where most Sundays the church is packed out.”

Parishioners turning up for last night's hour-long service at the church did not wish to comment on the news.

At the close of the service, led by Reader Roger Coley, Bishop Richard's statement was read out in full.

The statement said: “Bishop Richard is sorry to announce that following a meeting between the Revd Keith White

and the Bishop of Dunwich, the Rt Revd Clive Young, Mr White has resigned as Vicar of St John's Ipswich, with immediate effect for personal reasons.

“The Revd Lynne Thorpe has also resigned as Ordained Local Minister and as Parish Link Worker with immediate effect also for personal reasons.

“Bishop Clive and other senior clergy colleagues are supporting both families at this difficult time.”

The parish will now be cared for by church wardens and ministry teams in association with the Rural Dean, Canon Peter Townley.

Do you know why Rev White and Rev Thorpe resigned? Would you like to pay tribute to their ministry? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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