Tributes follow death of loved ‘Canon Greg’

Rev Canon Gregory Webb at Chilton 2011

Rev Canon Gregory Webb at Chilton 2011

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Tributes have been paid to a popular priest and rural dean who died peacefully at home surrounded by his family from cancer after giving almost 25 years to Suffolk communities.

The Rev Canon Gregory Webb, 60, priest in charge at the 14th century St Gregory’s Church in Sudbury and Rural Dean for the Sudbury Deanery, died on Friday. He had formerly served as a rector in Bury St Edmunds and before that worked as a solicitor with a Felixstowe practice.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I am immensely sad that Greg has died, and with so much ahead for him, Jackie and the family, as well as for St Gregory’s.

“I have known Greg for several years and have valued his wisdom and counsel. He bore his illness with an extraordinary equanimity and I was humbled each time I visited by his gentle spirit and profound faith.

“My heart goes out to Jackie and the family, as they come to terms with his loss, and they are much in my prayers.”

The Venerable Dr David Jenkins Archdeacon of Sudbury, said: “Gregory was a much loved and respected priest, very popular with his fellow clergy and lay people alike. He was a generous hearted, deeply spiritual man.”

Rev Webb’s colleague at Sudbury the Revd Helen Mitchell, associate priest, said: “Greg was a lovely man and a wonderful priest, an inspiring preacher and leader and a caring pastor.

“The depth of faith with which he approached his death has in itself been an inspiration to the congregation of St Gregory’s and we will miss him so much; as will so many people in the town of Sudbury where he was well known and well-loved.”

Rev Webb, who studied law at Manchester University, entered the ministry as a deacon in 1991 and a priest in 1992 after studying at the Oak Hill Theological College in London.

He served as Curate at St George’s in Bury St Edmunds from 1991 to 1994, as Priest in Charge at All Saints in Bury from 1994 to 2002, and as Team Rector of All Saints, St John’s and St George’s churches from 2002, as well as Rural Dean of Thingoe Deanery in the Bury St Edmunds area from 2001.

In the Sudbury area Revd Webb was Priest in Charge of St Gregory’s with St Peter and Chilton for seven years, leading a congregation with a Sunday attendance of more than 100 people and serving a large town parish.

Rev Webb was married to Jackie, a teacher, with three grown up children who are all married, and had five grandchildren.

St Gregory’s Church is open during the day for those who want to leave messages of condolence or light a candle in his memory. Messages can also be left at facebook.com/stgregorychurchsudbury

The funeral will be on Thursday August 20 at 12 noon at St Gregory’s Church.