The following is my tribute to Norman Longley who died in December.

Norman Charles Longley

23rd November 1933 – 12th December 2020

Norman was a very private man and little is known of his early life.  He and his wife Joan spent most of their married life in Carshalton, where they raised their daughters Caroline and Sarah.  Norman’s career was in banking and it wasn’t until he retired that the family moved to Ridgewood.  Having been loyal members of their local church in Carshalton, Joan and Norman were keen to find a spiritual home in East Sussex and were thrilled when they discovered S. Mary’s.  They quickly immersed themselves into parish life, becoming active members of the PCC and the Walsingham Cell.  Norman used his banking skills as Parish Treasurer and took his duties as Deputy Churchwarden very seriously.

I first met Norman when I moved to the parish in 2009, and my feet weren’t allowed to touch the ground!  He got me involved with all aspects of life at

S. Mary’s, and I eventually joined him as a fellow Deputy Churchwarden.  I have him to thank for assisting me in the process of reintroducing pilgrimages to

S. Mary’s.      

Joan and Norman had been almost inseparable, yet when Joan died in 2015 Norman seemed to cope remarkably well.  Despite his own failing health, he was always positive and cheerful, never more so when talking about his grandchildren.  Norman believed that life is meant to be shared with others, and that life is at its brightest and best when lived in the service of others.  Service is love made visible.  Norman encapsulated that service and faithfulness, even enquiring after the health of others during the first ‘lockdown’, when his own life was drawing to a close.

Sadly, we were unable to fulfil Norman’s wishes for a Funeral Mass in church.  A Requiem Mass will be held at S. Mary’s as soon as restrictions are lifted.

May he rest in peace.

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