Tributes paid to Norfolk Police Chaplain Richard

Richard was born on the Woburn Estate in Bedfordshire, where his parents, Reginald and Hilda, worked. The family later moved to Norwich.Richard Whall
Son Chris said: "Dad's grandparents had both died, in Norwich, before he was born, during the Second World War blitz. Dad attended George White Junior School and later City of Norwich School, for which he would cycle across the city each day.
"After completing school, Dad studied accountancy, initially working for Peat Marwick, which went on to become KPMG, as a chartered accountant.  Dad later worked for Abels of Watton, a time which he really enjoyed.  After that he worked at Duffields of East Anglia, part of the Volvo Trucks group. Following that Dad spent a few years working with YMCA Norfolk.
"Mum and Dad met through the Park Lane Methodist Church Club, though Dad really found his faith some years later at a Spring Harvest conference.  Following that Dad became a local preacher in the Methodist Church for several years."

Richard took early retirement in 2002 and began a new role as a chaplain with Norfolk Police, building a bridge between community, police and the church and helping police officers cope with the complex rigours of the job.
For the past 22 years, including as lead chaplain, he has supported and been alongside police staff and officers who are often at the sharp end of daunting and sometimes dangerous work.
The chaplaincy extends across the county to support police on the front line as well as organising special events such as the Emergency Services Carol Service at Norwich Cathedral. 
Although a regular church goer since his teens, Richard came to a full understanding of faith in 1993. His son joined a church holiday club and continued attending a church youth club afterwards. Before long he wanted the family to join him and the youth group at Spring Harvest, a Christian residential festival.
“I hated it at first although everyone was very nice to me,” recalled Richard back in 2018. “It was raining hard most of the time and the first evening there were about 3,000 people in the main tent and many were jumping up and down and waving their arms around. I couldn’t relate to it at all! Until then I had been going to a fairly traditional Methodist church over the years, mainly to keep my wife Gill happy.
“But three days later, during one of the sessions, everything clicked into place; it was as if all the pieces of an old building model were broken down and reassembled into something new. For the first time Jesus Christ and Christianity made sense as the truth of the gospel impacted my heart and changed the course of my life,” said Richard.
Richard has been a board member of both Norfolk Street Pastors and YMCA Norfolk. Former CEO of YMCA Norfolk, John Drake, paid tribute, saying: “I have known Richard for over 30 years. He was a co-worker at the YMCA, a good friend, a brilliant accountant, and a fellow Chaplain. He with the Norfolk Constabulary whilst I serve with the USAF 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath.
“Richard supported the work of the Christian Police Association locally and nationally. Over his 22 years’ service he reinvigorated the mission and ministry of Police chaplaincy across Norfolk by recruiting and training committed men and women gifted in pastoral care and listening skills. Richard was a trusted keeper of secrets. Open-hearted, ever listening and only giving comment when permission was granted or advice sought. However always constant in private intercession for those he felt privileged to serve.
“There were many who met him in their darkest moments who found through Richard and the God who sustained him, the resilience to continue to serve our county and city in these most dangerous of days,” said John.

Richard died in the early hours of Saturday May 11, having been diagnosed with lung cancer a few days earlier.

He had two sons and three grandchildren.
“There will be a small family burial service on Thursday June 13 and a public thanksgiving service for anyone who would like to come, on Friday June 14 at 1pm,” said Richard’s son Chris. This will be at Soul Church, 55 Heartsease Lane, Norwich. NR7 9NT. 


Article copied from Network Norfolk : Tributes paid to Norfolk Police Chaplain Richard (

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