Tributes paid to former Chaplain to the Bishop of Portsmouth

The Venerable Norman Crowder
The Venerable Norman Crowder
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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‘HAVE always therefore printed in your remembrance how great a treasure is committed to your charge.’

These words, printed just inside the order of service for Norman Crowder’s funeral, remind us that, in a lifetime of devoted service to the church, the essence of Norman’s ministry was a priestly one.

After a curacy in Southwell Diocese he became Chaplain to Lancelot Fleming, Bishop of Portsmouth. Then, as Chaplain at Canford School in Dorset, he was not only able to exercise a valuable pastoral ministry but also indulge his love of cricket.

He had three years as a parish priest at St John’s in Ryde, and then became Director of Education for Portsmouth Diocese and a Residentiary Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral.

From 1985 he was Archdeacon of Portsmouth and served in that capacity until retiring to Salisbury in 1993.

Throughout his time in our Diocese he was held in the highest esteem.

Behind the highly efficient and hard-working Archdeacon was a person of real depth, whose mind was fed by the ancient classics, William Golding and biographies and whose spirit was nourished by T S Eliot’s Four Quartets and the music of Gustav Mahler.

Beneath the formality of his role was a person of great compassion, warmth and kindness which had a practical outworking in his care and concern for his clergy and parishes and in his wider support for the Church Urban Fund and Faith in the City.

Norman had a fine mind and the ability to offer clear and well-balanced advice.

He was a wonderful colleague who put so much commitment into all that he did for the Diocese, ably supported by his wife, Pauleen.

But above all, it was his kindness that people remember with such affection.

He knew all his clergy particularly well and was the first to respond with help to those who were going through difficult times.

We give thanks for the rich fulfilment of his ordination vows. His ashes will be interred in Portsmouth Cathedral.

· The Venerable Norman Crowder – born October 26, 1926, died February 10, 2013.