TRIBUTES were paid on Sunday to the Rev’d Paul Wilson of St Elphin’s Church during his final songs of praise service before departing for Epworth in Lincolnshire.
From the day he arrived in 2013 he has been a man driving change but as one of the speakers said, “As soon Paul delivers one successful project, he has already planned the next.”
His work ethic coupled with attention to detail has been tremendous. He has been a great manager and community champion. He has led by example aided and abetted by Karen in her cheeky way. She is renowned for the hundreds of quality cakes she has baked for fund raising.
Karen read a beautifully moving poem about her wonderful life in the community, however there was always the thoughts of their family, especially the children back in Yorkshire pulling at her heart strings. She said how much she’d enjoyed her six years here and the many friends that she had made but the Pennines was just too much of an obstacle for her to see them on a regular basis.
The Archdeacon of St. Helens & Warrington, The Ven Roger Preece, remarked on the fact that when he went to ask Paul to consider taking on a new duty, he showed him a lists of things that he was either working, about to begin or do in the future. He said, “Somehow Paul being Paul shrugged his shoulders, sighed and took it on board and did it.” Paul no doubt drew from his of working in retail management and running his own business.
The Rev Neil Shaw paid tribute to the time when Neil’s wife died. He said, “Paul was a great friend during that time, someone to talk things through and he was a tower of strength.”
“One thing I will miss is receiving a copy of my favourite Rock Magazine from Paul. Once he had finished reading his magazine, he would pass it on to me. I will now have to either travel to Epworth every month to collect it or buy my own.”
There were many other tributes all with the common theme of compassion, kindness, thoughtfulness, friendly, funny, organised and liking everything in its place.
One thing that was appreciated was his ability of pointing out when you had done something that was not quite right. Paul has a habit of letting out a heavy sigh and bowing his head. You could say he is gently diplomatic and never has a harsh word to say.
The former Mayor, Geoff Settle presented him with a watercolour, that he had just finished painting. It depicted what the church Tower will look like when Swifts return to breeding St Elphin’s Tower.
He said “As the Mayor’s parish vicar Paul became a friend. He used to try and keep me and the Rev’d Steven Kingsnorth in line. I don’t think that we always recognised the signs.
“Paul played a vital role in getting permission from the Liverpool Diocese to install the swift boxes in the church Tower for the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) as well as helping me get a press release of the installation in the Warrington Guardian by giving me copies of the photographs he had taken, they were brilliant. I had failed on three occasions.
“For a hat trick he helped me as Chair of the Warrington Visually Impaired People get permission for us to build our wonderful sensory garden at Fairfield and Howley Community Centre.