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Geldeston Rector to retire

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:55 01 August 2010

A RECTOR who has been Priest in Charge at Gillingham, Geldeston, Stockton, Kirby Cane and Ellingham for four and a half years will be retiring at the end of the month.

A RECTOR who has been Priest in Charge at Gillingham, Geldeston, Stockton, Kirby Cane and Ellingham for four and a half years will be retiring at the end of the month.

Canon William Bestelink, who is rector at Geldeston Church, has been in the Ministry in Norfolk for 36 years but will now be retiring at the age of 60 due to ill health.

He has been a highly active member of the community since he came to the area, appointed as the chairman of governors at both Gillingham and Ellingham primary schools and as chaplain of the Beccles Sea Cadets, and his efforts were recognised when he was presented with an award by Gillingham Parish Council at the beginning of the month.

Canon Bestelink undertook his curacy in Holt, Dereham and Norwich. He then moved to Felmingham, near North Walsham, where he stayed for 11 years, before moving to Roydon, near Diss, for 14 years.

During his time in Roydon he was also rural dean and looked after the Scole benefice.

Now that he is retiring, Canon Bestelink will be focusing on some of his own interests. He describes himself as a “historian rather than a theologian,” and is looking forward to researching Medieval history as well as the history of art and music.

He plans to move to Cromer, where he already owns a flat, and will keep involved with church life in a variety of ways such as playing the organ. He is will continue his work with the Diocesan Environmental Group and the Farm Crisis Network.

“For the first time in my life in the ministry I've actually enjoyed living in the rural situation,” he said of his time in Geldeston. “The church is part of the village community and I've enjoyed looking after the five churches more than I'd thought.

“I will miss it very much, I've made many more friends than I would have thought of in a relatively short time. But I'm looking forward to being by the sea.”

He added that he had enjoyed living in the area because the marshes reminded him of Holland, where his family are from.

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