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October 2006

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Ickenham Church News - October 2006



It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Paul Kelly, Rector of St Giles’ Church Ickenham from 1977 to 1994 when he retired. Paul died in Musgrove Hospital Taunton at 5.30 p.m. on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August. His wife Gill and son Peter were by his side at the end. A private funeral was held and it is likely that there will be a memorial service at a future date.

Paul came from a very old Devon family whose ancestors can be traced back for about 800 years. His grandfather was an ordained priest and his father was the Rector of Oakford Parish, near Bampton.

Paul went to school at Blundell’s in Tiverton. From there he went to Oxford to read Modern History at Balliol. After this Paul attended Wells Theological College, and was ordained deacon in 1952, then priest in 1953 at Guildford.

He celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his ordination by conducting a service of thanksgiving in Wells Cathedral on 12th June 2002.

From 1944 to 1947 Paul served his country ‘in khaki’ and in the Intelligence Service.

Prior to his ministry in Ickenham, Paul was Curate at St Martin’s Epsom from 1952 to 1957. He then became Minister of the New Cathedral Conventional District, Guildford between 1957 and 1961.

Following that he was Rector of Abinger and Assistant Director of Religious Education in the Diocese of Guildford until 1967. Between 1967 and 1970 he was a lecturer in general studies at Harris Technical College, Preston, and Curate-in-Charge of St Peter’s, Preston. In 1970 Paul took up the post of Vicar of Christ Church, Ottershaw where he remained until his appointment to St Giles’ Ickenham.

During his time at Ottershaw he was Chaplain of St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, and to a Girl’s Community Home in the same town. Paul was also a member of the Guilford Diocesan Synod, the Diocesan Unity Committee, and Secretary of the Local Council of Churches.

Paul met Gill while he was Rector of Abinger and they married in that Parish Church in 1966. Gill, also had a remarkable upbringing, education, and career, including appointments with the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Thai Embassy. She, too, read Modern History, but at Edinburgh University, having been born in Kenya. Her father was a Regular Army Officer who later turned to coffee growing.

Throughout his period of office at St Giles’ Paul brought about many lasting changes. Perhaps his proudest moment was his part, during 1985 and before, in the creation, institution, and signing of the lasting and binding Covenant between Ickenham U.R.C. and St Giles’ Church.

On 24th April 2005 Paul returned to the U.R.C. pulpit, to preach a fine, note less, and memorable, sermon celebrating the 20th anniversary of that agreement. Amongst those returning for the ceremony was former U.R.C.

Minister, the Revd. Alan Cassingham, and former St Giles’ Priest-in-Charge, the Revd. Philip Robinson.

In 1985 Paul was instrumental in organising celebrations for the 650th anniversary of the Church. During that year he ‘starred’ in both the historical pageant directed by the late  Eric Goodall and the professionally made video documentary of the history of the Church.

In 1986 the new, first floor extension to the church vestries was completed.

Unknown to most people, Paul helped out with many parish duties and responsibilities that were usually the province of the wardens and other

members of the congregation. He worked tremendously hard and was always willing to lend a hand and throw himself into every activity. His parish visiting of the elderly and infirm was legendary, and hugely appreciated by all those touched by his calm and healing personality.

On their retirement to Wells, in 1994, both Paul and Gill continued very active lives and Paul delighted in his role showing visitors around the Cathedral. Both were able to indulge their enjoyment of travel to far off climes.

We were all very sad to hear of Paul’s passing and send our love and condolences to Gill and the ‘boys’. It was a great privilege and pleasure to have known Paul and we recall his ministry to us with enormous gratitude and affection.



DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles’ Church Hall, 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and pastoral visitors.  The next meeting is Monday 16th October (also Monday 20th November). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970), if you would like to talk to someone first.

ICKENHAM GOOD NEIGHBOUR SCHEME exists to serve the whole of Ickenham. We’re here to assist in an emergency. If you need help, the daytime contact numbers are: 01895 633020 or 01895 235061.

Paul pictured in 2005

Paul signing Covenant in 1985

Paul with Churchwardens Pauline Shelborn and Terry Durn in 1986 - New Vestry extension

Paul and Gill say goodbye to St Giles’ Ickenham in 1994

Three photos of Paul in 1985 taken from St Giles’Church History Video

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