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By Andrew de Burgh-Thomas
George was a kind man with humour and sincerity and through his life and ministry his kindness touched the lives of many people: he was loyal and if he developed a good relationship he would foster and maintain it through thick and thin – and across the years. He was humble, though widely read and happy to defer to those he felt had greater knowledge. He accepted his own limitations and celebrated God’s gifts in others.
George’s mother was a headmistress who ran her own school and empowered my father with his solid educational foundation. This was developed further by his grammar school and he had a great archive of knowledge that he loved to apply to his varied surroundings – although his many abilities didn’t entirely equip him for our technological age!
On leaving Llandudno Grammar School George took a degree in and English and Philosophy at Bangor University. His ambition was to be a teacher of English but on finding lodgings at the Church Hostel he much enjoyed the company of a number of students preparing for the ministry as he began to question his own lack of faith. Finally he realised he had two options: “Either there was no God and therefore He could not be blamed for wars and suffering, and it was pointless to pray or go to church or, if God was there – and I was beginning to accept that he might be – He was the most important thing in this life and I must spend the rest of my days getting to know him”.
George accepted the second option, completed his original objective to become a teacher and was accepted straight afterwards as an ordinand into the church in Wales. After 23 years serving first in the Lake District and then at Fritwell in Oxfordshire he moved into the vicarage at The Lee. For nearly 10 years he greatly enjoyed working in the Hilltop Villages and retired somewhat reluctantly at the age of 67 to Wantage.
There ensued many happy years since George loved the church and the choir in Wantage and the community into which he and Brenda moved. He continued to gain a regular thrill of happiness and fulfilment when presiding at the altar over the holy sacrifice and more recently became a Christ Church Cathedral Steward.
George was eternally optimistic, always believing things would work out. That they did was a result of his hard work and the hard work of others, spiced with plenty of prayer. Brenda and he had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and more recently his 80th birthday surrounded by family and friends. He loved life, living it to its full and enriching the life of many others along the way.
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