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West Norfolk man celebrates 103rd birthday with cream tea

By Richard Parr

Retired Methodist minister, the Rev John Garfoot, takes a break from writing to enjoy a sweet treat of strawberries and cream and slice of birthday cake tomorrow, as he celebrates his 103rd birthday.

John was a preacher for 73 years, having begun his ministry in 1946. For 40 years he served in various locations in West Norfolk, including many in North Lynn.

Now confined to his home at Kensington Road, Gaywood, John is looking forward to welcoming visitors tomorrow on his remarkable birthday.

His sons, Adrian, a retired GP who he lives with and Raymond, who, like his father is a retired Methodist minister, have made him a cake.

In retirement, even as recently as April, John’s articles have appeared in the national Methodist Recorder newspaper and he regularly writes for local church magazines, Rejoice! and Together.

Nowadays he dictates his copy to his sons who type-up the articles for him on computer.

Rev John Garfoot who is 103 tomorrow and still writes for the Methodist Recorder
Rev John Garfoot who is 103 tomorrow and still writes for the Methodist Recorder

He is no longer as mobile as he once was, when he would travel every Sunday to attend morning service at St Faith’s Church at Gaywood on his mobility scooter.

People from the parish still keep in touch with him with regular visits.

When asked about his secret of a long life, John gave his trademark smile and simply said: “It happens! I have always been an optimist and have always looked for the best in people.”

Rev John Garfoot is 103 tomorrow
Rev John Garfoot is 103 tomorrow

His TV in his ground floor bedroom, overlooking the garden, is his “window on the world” and he continues his love of the Australian soap, Neighbours, enjoys watching the news, and is currently following the Women’s World Cup football .

“Dad likes to be surrounded by people and is particularly fond of his carer from the Care Company UK who make a real fuss of him,” said Adrian.

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