Norfolk and Waveney’s Catholic DEO steps down

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Norfolk and Waveney’s Catholic DEO steps down

After eight years, Laurette Burton resigns as Norfolk and Waveney’s Catholic Denominational Ecumenical Officer, reflecting on her ecumenical journey and future commitments.

After more than eight years of service, Laurette Burton has stepped down from her role as the Catholic Denominational Ecumenical Officer (DEO) for Norfolk and Waveney. Reflecting on her time in this role, Laurette shared detailed insights into her experiences and the motivations behind her ecumenical journey.

Describing her background, Laurette said, “I am a ‘cradle Catholic’, brought up in Ealing, London. For most of my married life I moved often in the British Isles and Germany with my soldier husband Cedric.” After her husband left the Army in 2004, the couple moved to Newmarket, and upon final retirement settled in East Suffolk.

When asked about her initial attraction to ecumenism, Laurette explained, “I had no particular interest in ecumenism but in 2014 became a member of the East Anglia Diocesan Commission for Dialogue & Unity. This role provided the initial catalyst for my interest in exploring the beliefs and practices of other Christian denominations.”

Laurette highlighted the influence of key figures in her ecumenical work, noting, “Msgr John O’Toole, the Catholic NEO and the late Deacon Clive Brooks, Catholic DEO for Suffolk, provided both help and great encouragement. Catherine Howe too, with her infectious commitment to the task was inspirational.”

Discussing the achievements and initiatives during her tenure, Laurette pointed out, “Ecumenism in Norfolk has waxed and waned over the last 8 years, particularly in Norwich but local and wider ecumenical initiatives flourish.” She emphasized three key initiatives: “In addition to the annual Churches Together in England Conferences for all Ecumenical Officers, a Forum is held every 3 years. The 2022 Forum met not long after the Russian invasion of Ukraine… It was a wonderful opportunity for Christians from many different denominations to be seen working together.”

She also mentioned a successful survey: “A survey undertaken by the East Anglia Diocesan Commission to gauge local ecumenical activity in our parishes elicited not only a good response but also useful information on the range of initiatives.”

The Chain of Prayer was another highlight Laurette shared: “The Chain of Prayer, the only ecumenical endeavour for which the Norfolk & Waveney DEOs are responsible, is I believe among notable achievements of the DEO committee during my tenure.”

As for her future plans, Laurette stated, “My parish responsibilities include catechesis, CAFOD representative, Secretary to the local Christians Together Group and Chair of our Parish Forum. So, having now stepped down from the post of Catholic DEO for Norfolk & Waveney, I will have more time for these other commitments.”

Article extracts from courtesy of Ian Watson

Pictured above is Laurette Burton standing far right, with a cohort of the Foundation of Faith in the New Evangelisation course back in 2019 on the last study day in Newmarket. The course is not associated with Norfolk and Waveney Churches Together.