Tributes paid to leading clergyman

THE widow of one of Suffolk's leading clergymen has paid tribute to a “perfect man” after he died of a brain haemorrhage.

Laurence Cawley

THE widow of one of Suffolk's leading clergymen has paid tribute to a “perfect man” after he died of a brain haemorrhage.

Rev Canon Simon Pettitt, St Edmundsbury Diocese's longest-serving canon and the rector of Horringer, near Bury St Edmunds, began to feel unwell during a shopping trip with his wife Sally at Waitrose on December 12.

The 59-year-old, who held the honorary title of Godfrid Sacrist of St Edmund at the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, asked his wife whether they could go home.

Mrs Pettitt decided to take him to accident and emergency at West Suffolk Hospital because she thought he looked very poorly and he died at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge of a brain haemorrhage six days later.

Mr Pettitt, who took over Horringer nearly two years ago, had previously been based in Exning. He was ordained as a priest at Wakefield Cathedral in 1976.

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Paying tribute to the popular clergyman, Mrs Pettitt said: “He was a perfect man. He was a gentleman and he was caring - he was all the things you look for in a person.

“He had time for everybody and he never said a bad word about anybody - even when he knew they had said bad things about him. He found the best in everybody - he was one of the really, really good guys.”

She told how the couple had been out to visit their 28-year-old son Nicolas in Singapore in October - something which, in hindsight, she was delighted they had done together.

Speaking about his death, Mrs Pettitt said: “He had not been 100% but it happened very quickly. We were shopping in Waitrose in Bury and he said he not feel very well. When we got back to the car he asked if I minded taking him home.”

She told how the staff at both West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke's had been “fantastic”.

His funeral will take place on January 6 at St Edmundsbury Cathedral at 2pm. The service will be followed by a private cremation.

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