CAPTION: Tributes for John, a clergyman and colleague

Tributes for diocesan colleague

Posted: 14th November, 2017

Rev John Mapson, a much-loved member of clergy and diocesan staff, has died.

His commitment and love for the Diocese of Exeter is evident in all he was involved in, including producing the monthly Prayer Diary, the paper version of the Diocesan Directory and the monthly magazine. He was also a member of the Diocesan Board of Finance and the Parsonage Committee. He was made a Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral in September 1991.

John retired from All Saints Sidmouth to Axminister in 1997 . His wife Jill sadly died within a few months of his retirement.

Diocesan Director of Mission and Ministry Rev Preb Philip Sourbut said: “Within days of my arrival at Cullompton John turned up on my doorstep. Over a cup of coffee he said: “If I moved back to Cullompton I wouldn’t get in your way”. He was incumbent of Cullompton, Kentisbeare and Blackborough before moving to Sidmouth. He did return and was nothing, but a gracious encouragement to me. He often covered Sunday services in Axminster and other places but occasionally also for me. Otherwise he tucked himself near the back of a side aisle and invariably made an encouraging remark or a dry witty comment as he shook my hand at the door. Far from the interfering previous vicar – it was good to have him around.”

Vicar of the Holyford Mission Community Hilary Dawson said: “John was always encouraging and immensely kind.  He often came to eat with us as a family, and our children have good memories of John too.  He had, as Philip says, a dry, witty sense of humour and was a very gentle man.”

John was a member of the first Diocesan Parsonages Committee from 1989 until he retired in 2014. Director of Property Services Graham Davies wrote in a thank you letter to John: “This will bring to an end more years of wise advice and practical help than any of us can remember!  You have been a wonderful servant to us and have seen the “parsonages” operation through several times of major change, as well as having close involvement with some particularly knotty issues.  Your experience and commitment in serving the Diocese in this capacity (as well as in many other ways) has always been greatly valued – you will be a hard act to follow!”

John’s funeral was on Thursday 23 November at St Andrew’s Church, Cullompton.