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Couple bid farewell to St John’s Cathedral

Deacon Patrick Limacher and his wife Eileen bade their formal farewell to the Cathedral parish of St John the Baptist, Norwich, on Saturday September 4, prior to their moving to Suffolk. Linda and Colin Harper report.

At the 6pm Mass, Cathedral Dean, the Very Rev Canon David Paul, celebrated Mass assisted by Deacon Patrick. Eileen was present in the congregation along with many friends.

After the Mass, a reception was attended by a large gathering of parishioners and friends who had worked closely with Deacon Pat and Eileen in many and various aspects of Cathedral life over many years making it a reunion of friends old and new.

More than 50 guests were welcomed by KSC Grand Knight Colin Harper who welcomed the guests, and, in particular, Pat and Eileen; he also thanked the staff of the Narthex café and the Flower Group for their co-operation and hard work in preparation for the event which was the first parish social gathering since the start of the lockdowns.

Canon Paul paid fulsome thanks to Deacon Pat for his many years of devoted service to the parish and the Diocese. He went on to give thanks to Eileen for her warm-hearted service to the parish. He also wished them every happiness in their new home. Presentations were made to the couple as expressions of appreciation and affection.

In response, Deacon Pat made a heartfelt and amusing speech in which he made reference to the Gospel at the Mass (Mark, 7, vv31-37) which he had read as Deacon. He went on to pay tribute to the late Fr Tony Seely who had supported him in his vocation and who had encouraged him to become the Estate Manager passing on a wealth of knowledge about the Cathedral. He thanked Fr Walsh and Canon Paul for their support during his ministry. He went on to mention the upheavals of moving after 30 years in the same house and finally, he thanked all those present for their friendship and support over so many years.

After the speeches, Deacon Pat said Grace and the guests were served with a delicious afternoon tea which was much enjoyed by all present.

During the evening there were many friendly exchanges between those present as social gatherings had been in abeyance for well over a year, Deacon Pat and Eileen made a round of the hall to bid farewell to all amidst much laughter and a few tears: all in all, it was a very pleasant evening, albeit tinged with some sadness.

Pictured above are Deacon Patrick and Eileen Limacher at the farewell reception.