Tribute paid to Denver lay preacher who died in Feltwell church ahead of service

Reg and Mary Rose  from Denver, celebrate 50 years of marriage ENGANL00120120327161815
Reg and Mary Rose from Denver, celebrate 50 years of marriage ENGANL00120120327161815
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Tribute has been paid to a dedicated lay preacher who had collapsed and died shortly before he was due to lead a service.

Reg Rose, 75, of Denver, was found on the floor of Feltwell Methodist Church by his wife Mary as they were preparing for the Sunday service.

Tribute has been paid to the popular lay preacher, who was worked tirelessly for his community.

A talented musician, Mr Rose would also run regular tea dances across West Norfolk.

His wife of 53 years, Mary is coming to terms with Mr Rose’s sudden death along with their children, Jeremy, 48, Frances, 46 and Jonathan, 42. He also had four grandchildren

Frances said: “For us he was always the rock within the family and we are really going to miss him. I can’t imagine life without him.

“My mum has received so many cards. People have written to say he was generous, kind, do anything for anyone, always willing to be there for people and always willing to see things through. He was generous with time and quietly got on with things.

“It is incredible to hear how much warmth there was for him and how much he will be missed. We know that he touched a lot of people’s lives.”

Mr Rose was born in Barton Bendish and attended school in Downham before moving onto the Lynn Technical College.

He trained as a butcher but went on to work for Smiths Crisps and Walkers’ Crisps and Downham Market Garden Centre.

He and Mary have been together since they were 16 and got married in Stradsett church in March 1962.

Mr Rose has been a lay preacher for 46 years, which saw him taking services and funerals across the area.

Music was a great passion for Mr Rose. He was asked to join a band in 1969 and then formed his own group in 1970 called the Dickremic Set until he went solo in the mid 1980s.

He had a keen interest in sport and played cricket as a young man. Mr Rose trained as a referee so he could support Denver FC and as an umpire to help Denver Hockey Club. Mr Rose had a passion for Norwich City and enjoyed going to games.

The Rev Maurice Stafford, minister for Downham, said Mr Rose was going to be greatly missed.

He said: “He was a very active man and this has come as a shock. He was constantly active and doing good.

“He was always cheerful, caring and approachable.

“He was a very good human being as well as being a committed Christian.”

Mr Rose was also chairman of Denver Village Hall. Last year organised a weekend of events to mark the hall’s 50 anniversary.

Booking clerk and treasurer Ann Cutter said: “He worked very hard for the village hall and was always putting on activities.

“He is going to be greatly missed.”

A celebration of Mr Rose’s life will be held at Downham Methodist Church on Friday, March 6 at 3.45pm.