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Canon Paul Tongue receives Wulfstan Cross

Published: 17th February 2024


Paul Tongue in hospital wearing the Wulfstan CrossBishop John recently presented Canon Paul Tongue with the Cross of St Wulfstan in recognition of his exceptional service to the Diocese of Worcester over many years. The award was presented to Paul while he was in hospital ahead of his sad death on Tuesday 30 January.

Paul was ordained Deacon in 1964 and his entire ministry was served in the Diocese, as curate at St Edmund’s Church, Dudley and All Saints, Sedgley and then as Vicar of Holy Trinity, Amblecote from 1970–2007. He was made an Honorary Canon of Worcester cathedral in 1993 and served as Rural Dean of Stourbridge from 1996–2001. In retirement Paul continued an active and much valued ministry both at the Cathedral (notably serving as their principal Evensong cantor from 2010 to 2014) and at St Martin’s in the Cornmarket in Worcester city centre.

A Requiem Mass in celebration of Paul’s life and ministry will be held at 1pm on Saturday 24 February at the Cathedral.

Paul’s daughter, Clare said: “Dad was completely shocked, surprised and humbled when Bishop John turned up at the house just before Christmas to personally hand him the letter telling him of the honour. He always felt that everything he did was just ‘normal’ and never anything special. He also had the biggest smile when Bishop John then surprised him again when in hospital to actually present him with the Cross!”

Bishop John said: “Paul Tongue was one of the most faithful and dedicated priest I have ever known. I met him 16 years ago shortly after he had retired after 37 years as a parish priest in Amblecote, and returned to Worcester, to the house of his birth. He continued to have a very active ministry here and was faithful to the last. I consider myself privileged to have known him and pray that he will rest in peace and rise in glory.”

St. Wulfstan/ Wulstan lived c. 1008 - 1095. He served as Bishop of Worcester under the last two Saxon kings and the first two Norman kings. After the Norman Conquest he was responsible for the dismantling of the old Saxon cathedral and the building of a new one, of which the crypt is the main part still surviving today. He was at once venerated as a saint by the people of Worcester, though he was not formally canonized until 1203. Alongside the tomb of St. Oswald, his shrine was a place of pilgrimage until the Reformation.  Wulfstan found a special place in local people's affections. He took his pastoral duties very seriously, caring for the poor and preaching widely. He was famed for his healing and prophetic abilities. He even preached against the slave trade in Bristol, then part of his Diocese, and thankfully managed to end this practise for a long while.


Page last updated: Saturday 17th February 2024 5:03 PM

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