Tributes to tragic clergyman

Emma Knights Tributes were today paid to a “faithful and devoted” clergyman who died after going missing from an East Harling care home.The Rev Raymond Powell, 73, will be remembered affectionately by many people in the diocese where he worked for many years, the Bishop of Ely, Dr Anthony Russell said.

Emma Knights

Tributes were today paid to a “faithful and devoted” clergyman who died after going missing from an East Harling care home.

The Rev Raymond Powell, 73, will be remembered affectionately by many people in the diocese where he worked for many years, the Bishop of Ely, Dr Anthony Russell said.

A major air and land police search was launched on Tuesday after Mr Powell disappeared from The Beeches care home shortly after midnight.


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Mr Powell, who had Alzheimer's and diabetes, was found alive Wednesday afternoon but just hours later he died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

He had spent much of his working life in the Diocese of Ely before retiring in the Diocese of Norwich.

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He lived in Roydon, near Diss, and was only supposed to have been at The Beeches for a one week stay.

Dr Russell said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of Raymond Powell's tragic death. He retired from active ministry at the time I arrived in the Diocese of Ely and so, unfortunately, I was not able to get to know him well.

“He was Rural Dean of Shelford, a key appointment, during the early 1990s.

“People remember him as a faithful and devoted priest. He served the greater part of his ministry in this Diocese and will be remembered affectionately by many people here.”

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, has said the prayers of everyone in the Diocese of Norwich were with Mr Powell's family.

Mr Powell, who was born in 1935, read theology at King's College, in London. He was made a deacon in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1963 in the Diocese of London.

From 1962 until 1967 he was curate at St Mary Hendon in the Diocese of London. He moved to the Diocese of Ely in 1967 and became the curate of All Saints, Huntingdon.

In 1975 he became vicar of St Barnabas, Huntingdon, before moving to Sawston in 1979 as the priest-in-charge there. He went on to be the vicar of Sawston from 1981 until 2000.

From 1985 until 2000 he was also priest-in-charge at Babraham, and from 1989 until 1994 Mr Powell was the Rural Dean of Shelford.

In 2000 Mr Powell retired to the Diocese of Norwich and he had the Bishop's Permission to Officiate until 2006.

Staff at The Beeches today also paid tribute to Mr Powell.

A spokesman said: “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Powell's family. All the staff at The Beeches are devastated by the sad news.

“The Beeches is co-operating with the investigations into the circumstances surrounding Mr Powell's death.

“Due to the ongoing investigations, we regret that it is not possible for us to comment further.”

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