Obituary - The Rev'd Dr Norman Leslie Robinson (17/04/1950 to 15/07/2016)
Priest in charge of Westward, Rosley with Woodside, Welton, Caldbeck, Sebergham, Castle Sowerby and formerly Thursby.
Norman Robinson moved to Rosley in 1990 where he quickly became a keen advocate for rural ministry, realising the importance of the church within small communities. He began working regularly with people from the local area and within Rosley, Welton, Thursby and Caldbeck schools, reaching numerous generations with his kindness, sense of humour and love of learning. He was a key individual for many important events in the lives of people in the local area, conducting numerous baptisms, marriages and funerals as well as providing steady guidance and counsel to those who needed it. Norman was also a central community figure helping to organise and record significant moments in the parish’s history such as Rosley’s millennium celebrations, the 50 year commemoration of the end of World War 2 and curating a book on the history of Rosley. Rosley Church and Village Hall would not look the same after he helped commission a new stained glass window in the Church as well as the millennium extension in Rosley Village Hall.
Norman was born in Liverpool in 1950 and grew up in Culcheth near Warrington with his two brothers Paul and Stephen. His father was an Analytical Chemist for the Atomic Energy Authority and his mother worked in market research. After passing the 11+ he attended Newton le Willows Grammar School. There, he was a keen sportsman, playing football, rugby and cricket. During this period he also attended the local Methodist Church’s youth activities and came to faith at a summer camp at Criccieth in North Wales.
Following Secondary school Norman took a degree in Physics at Liverpool University, which began a life long interest in science. It was where he also met his wife Mary whom he married in 1973 in Tanworth in Arden near Birmingham.
After graduating he taught Maths at St Julians School in St Albans for a number of years before deciding to read Philosophy and Theology at London Bible College, now London School of Theology. While there he felt called to the Anglican Ministry and after graduating, began training at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford in 1978. He did his curacies at St Andrews Bebington on the Wirral near Liverpool and St Andrews Dentons Green in St Helens before coming to Cumbria in 1990. Norman continued to have a passion for education throughout his life, completing a Doctorate in Philosophy in 2007 from Brunel University, as well as also becoming an honorary tutor for clerical and lay persons training. This was on the Lancashire and Cumbria theological partnership (in partnership with the University of Cumbria in association with Durham University).
Norman was a dedicated family man, bringing up his twin sons David and Jonathan in Rosley and passing on his keen passion for sport and education. He was always proud of their achievements both academically and in their careers, and took an interest in their pursuits. When Jonathan went out to work and study in the Middle East, Norman visited him in the Sultanate of Oman, and was fascinated by the differences and similarities in cultures and religion. He was also planning a trip to Beirut in the coming year to visit Jonathan. He was equally proud to see David qualify as an architect after nine long years of study and work. Norman was thrilled to conduct the marriage ceremony between David and his now wife Bella in 2014, as well as to baptise their daughter, Eva, earlier this year in Rosley. He and Mary travelled to Bath in early June to celebrate Eva’s first birthday.
A key figure in the life of the local area for over 25 years, he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Mary, sons David and Jonathan and grand daughter Eva.
The Funeral of Norman took place at Rosley Church on Saturday 23 July.
Family Flowers only. Donations will be shared between the six churches and a charity at the funeral as well as via Roland Hill, Funeral Director, Wigton CA7 9AE.