A woman who was at the centre of church and community life in Beccles for several decades has died after a short illness.

Daphne Sutton was married to Canon Malcolm Sutton, rector of the town's St Michael’s church for 30 years.

She was born in 1933 in Billericay, Essex and grew up in Kew.

During the war, she was evacuated to the family home in Over, Cambridgeshire, with her elder sister and mother.

On leaving school, she worked in a dentist’s surgery and then the local bank.

Malcolm was the local curate and they married at Kew in 1954.

They lived at Hornchurch and then Harrow before moving to Beccles in 1963.

She was active in St Michael’s church life for 30 years, supporting her husband and bringing up five children. who blessed them with 11 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

She taught in Sunday school at the old Ravensmere Mission Hall and later in the undercroft at St Michael’s.

Daphne helped to start up the St Luke’s Thrift Shop in Smallgate, one of the first charity shops in town.

The Mother’s Union, Young Wives, and the CMS were other groups she was very active in.

Every year she would help organise a fireworks and bonfire night for the choirboys with soup and baked potatoes.

She also made cakes for the church fete, sewed kneelers for the pews, crocheted blankets for children overseas and helped with the flower arranging in St Michael’s.

In the town, she was chairman of the Beccles Middle School governors for a number of years, where some of her children attended and also worked the early shift at Eade’s newsagents in Blyburgate.

After Malcolm’s retirement in 1994, they moved to Carlton Colville, where, as Malcolm’s health gradually deteriorated, she was a tower of strength to him.

They moved to Manormead, a church-run retirement home in Surrey where they lived happily for a few years and after Malcolm passed away, she enjoyed life in the Christian community, helping with the weekly services in the chapel.

Daphne died on March 8 2022 aged 89.

There will be a celebration of her life at Manormead on April 12, family flowers only.

Donations in her memory to “The Bible Society “ c/o The Co-operative Funeralcare, 14 The Broadway, Woodbridge Way, Guildford, GU1 1DY.