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Tributes paid to former long-serving Norwich vicar 

A long-serving former vicar of a distinctive Norwich church, the Rev Keith Crocker, has died suddenly aged 68. Michael Pollitt pays tribute.

Keith had retired last year after 21 years as vicar of Christ Church, New Catton, having originally moved to Norfolk in 1984.
He had been team rector of the seven-strong Wreningham group of parishes and then took over at New Catton in February 1995 - following Rev Jack McGinley, who had also retired after 21 years.
Andrew Spooner, churchwarden, said that Christ Church had been fortunate to have been served by just two vicars in 42 years.
Keith Gwillam Crocker decided to take Holy Orders while working in Coventry. After four years in industry, he became a deacon in 1977 and was ordained a year later.
When Christ Church, the first to be built outside the northern parts of Norwich city wall for almost 500 years, faced a major restoration challenge, he responded with enthusiasm and drive.
He secured one of the largest grants to be made to a grade II listed church in the east of England in 2007. The £93,000 grant from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund helped but as the restoration work started, it revealed the urgent need for even more repairs. In total, it cost £150,000 and the Rev Crocker led efforts to raise the balance from the parish and the community.
In his final year, he laid the foundations for the successful 175th anniversary celebrating the church’s foundation in 1841.
He also reflected that 2015 was most unusual; no weddings when normally there would have been five or six – but there had been 17 funerals.
Mr Crocker, who had studied at Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, and graduated in 1978, had met his wife-to-be at a nearby teacher training college. They married in 1971 and have three sons.
He leaves a widow, Linda, three sons, Luke, Nathan and Paul, and granddaughter, Hannah. He is survived by an older sister, Susan.
A service of thanksgiving will be held at Christ Church, New Catton, on Friday, December 1 at noon. It will be taken by the rural dean, Canon Simon Stokes, who was a curate at the church.

Pictured above is Rev Keith Crocker. Picture courtesy of Archant/Ian Burt.

Please add your memories and tributes to Keith below.



Dr John Clements (Guest) 22/11/2017 23:27
I served under Keith as a licensed AWA for a short time and found him to be a man with a strong faith who loved his Bible. He was always kind and helpful. I am saddened to hear of his death as he had only recently retired.
John Clements, Pastor of the Old Meeting House Congregational Church.
Reverend Philip Young (Guest) 23/11/2017 08:18
A kind and gentle person who served his church and community in a faithful way for many years. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Prayers and love for all his family and friends.
Philip Young
Dr Sarah Housden (Guest) 23/11/2017 09:47
Keith made me very welcome when I moved to Norwich and attended Christchurch in 1997. I will always remember him as someone who worked hard to help others.
Rev Liz Cannon (Guest) 23/11/2017 10:11
I served my curacy with Keith at Christ Church and it was a rich and rewarding learning experience. I was very grateful for the priority he always gave to my training. He was a man of real faith and will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Linda and the family at this time.
Jess and Anne Mary Stubenbord (Guest) 23/11/2017 14:15
So sorry for Linda and family and so soon after retirement. He served his Lord well.
With grateful thanks for his friendship.
Rev William Howard (Guest) 24/11/2017 19:43
Keith was a good friends for many years while we both served in Norwich Diocese, and I'm sure there will be many here in Coventry Diocese who will remember him.
John Myhill (Guest) 29/11/2017 18:55
Keith was vicar of the parish where I live back in the early 90s, and despite my being a Quaker, was wonderfully supportive of my birth in Christ. It was always a great pleasure to see him around the city.

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