Reverend's death a shock to community

WARM tributes were paid today to one of Suffolk's best-loved reverends, who has died after a long illness.Reverend Robin Jack, the former rector of Bacton and curate at Debenham, died at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

WARM tributes were paid today to one of Suffolk's best loved reverends, who has died after a long illness.

Reverend Robin Jack, the former rector of Bacton and curate at Debenham, died at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich on Friday.

Today Suffolk's rural dean, Reverend Barbara Bilston, paid tribute to Mr Jack and said: “The news of Robin's death will come as a great shock to those who knew him.

“Robin was a fine and popular rector. His love of God was shown in his generous love of God's people.

“He cared about the people of his parishes and served them tirelessly and devotedly. He was there for them in times of joy and times of difficulty and there are many people today who have good reason to thank him for his quiet care of them.

“He threw himself into the social activities of all the villages with energy and enthusiasm and through his involvement with so many people rapidly and successfully built up the life of the church in all of the six churches where he ministered. He raised the profile of the church in each community.”

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Mr Jack trained for the priesthood at Westcott House Cambridge after an early career in farming.

After being ordained in 1990, he served as a curate in Debenham.

He was instituted as priest in charge of the Bacton Benefice in October 1993, became rector in September 2000, and served until his early retirement on health grounds in October 2005.

Revd Bilston added: “His compassionate manner, his sense of humour and fund of outrageous stories endeared him to everyone.

“He was blessed with a cheerful engaging manner and was good company in any social situation.

“Above all he had a deep understanding of, and love for, the countryside and its people.

“Out of his own experience, he knew better than anyone the needs of the farming community and during his career supported them through the crises of BSE, swine fever and foot and mouth disease.

“Quite simply, Robin was loved by everyone and there is today a great sense of shock and loss in the parishes where he used to serve.

“There is also a real sense of gratitude that they were privileged to have the benefit of his outstanding ministry for 12 years.”

Mr Jack's funeral will be held at St Mary the Virgin Bacton on Wednesday, August 15 at 11am followed by interment at St Andrew's Wickham Skeith.

He leaves a widow, Sue, and four children, Ruth, Kate, Nick and Chris.

Do you want to pay tribute to Reverend Robin Jack? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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