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Rev. John Newbery Wells -Obituary 1955

28TH January 1955 Kentish Express

Funeral Of Vicar Of Wye


Less than two weeks after his resignation through ill-health, the Rev. John Newbery Wells , Vicar of Wye died on Saturday at the Vicarage. He was 63 and had been ill for several months, and before Christmas spent a month in Kings College Hospital, London, under the care of a heart specialist.

He became a priest in 1915 and in 1934 left his living at Milton to become Vicar of Brixton and chaplain to the prison. In 1947 he came to Wye and two
years later was made Priest in charge of Hastingleigh.

He was chaplain to the Invicta Lodge of Freemasons, Ashford joining in 1948 from Lodge Lambeth Borough Council 2941. He was appointed PAPG chaplain last year. Other interests included Ashford Rotary Club, chaplain to the local Home Guard unit and the youth of Wye and district and the Boy Scout movement.

A large and representative congregation attended the funeral service in Wye Church on Wednesday when a half muffled peal was rung before and after the service.

The Rev. Dr. S.G. Brade-Birks, Vicar of Godmersham and rural dean of West Bridge, officiated, explaining that the Bishop of Dover and the Archdeacon of Canterbury deeply regretted being unable to take part in the service. The Bishop had an engagement which only he could fulfil, and the Archdeacon was unwell.

Dr Brade-Birks said: Through the passing of a good man fills the hearts of his fellow men with regrets, there is a note of Christian triumph at the end. It is the end of a life well lived for God and man, and this s especially true when that life has so obviously been a career of service to others.

Such a service had been rendered by John Newbery Wells. All classes of the community and many organisations in the congregation bore witness of his
friendly spirit. There was in the Church a universal expression of all he had meant to the life of the Parish and to the neighbourhood.

Singing was led by an augmented choir Mr A.E. Pembry was organist and Canon S,L. Ewell read a lesson. After the service, the coffin remained in the church until yesterday morning, when cremation took place privately at Charing.

Chief mourners were Mrs J.N. Wells (widow), Mr and Mrs Tom Pettman, Mr and Mrs Ayres (brothers in law and sisters in law), Mr F.L. Pettman and Mr W. Medhurst (nephews).

Those present included the Rev. Sir Reginald Champion, Vicar of Chilham and Lady Champion, the Rev. H.G. Arnold, Ashford Methodist Minister,
the Rev J. Crawley Vicar of Brixton, and Mrs Crawley, the Rev. R Lloyd, Hampstead, the Rev. Gore-Browne, Vicar of Chartham, the Rev. J.C. Strangeways,
Vicar of Petham, Mr J Parker (deputising for Mr J. Erle-Drax, vicars warden, who was unwell). Mr H.G. Halls (peoples warden), Mr G. Tappenden (churchwarden Hastingleigh), Mrs Everett, Mrs Hayward, Mrs Munt, Mr P Rumley, Mr and Mrs J Earll and Miss Earll, Mr A.C. Ansell, Mrs D Dudley, Mr J. G. Parker (Wye CC), Mr W. Maycock, Mrs Gibbs-Chandler, Mr and Mrs Phillips, Mrs Curtis, Mrs Pennells, the Misses Wilkinson, Mrs J. Long (Wye Conservatives) Mr A.B. Long, Miss H. Long. Mr and Mrs P.C.L.H. Bulmer, Miss M.P. Hopewell, Mr L. Head, Col C.A.W. Duffield (Home Guard), Mrs Harvey ..etc..