John Wallis – Reader

Rev Sian Yates writes:

I write to inform you that John Wallis, a Reader in the Penlee Cluster, died last night after a number of years of living with an aggressive cancer.

He has served the church and this diocese faithfully over many years both as a Reader and a Head teacher. Many years ago he also helped with writing the RE syllabus for the country and he brought great insights and sense of fun, along with an unswerving faith.

He was just so humbled last week when bishop Graham said that he would visit him and pray with him on Thursday when he came to Newlyn for a confirmation….real tears of joy. Bishop Graham was the person who confirmed him many years ago.  Of course, he has not died before this was able to happen

So after prayers and Last Rites yesterday morning, and with his music grouo singing their hearts out and making a recording for John as the parish mass, John took his next steps towards his death, bravely, humbly and full of confidence. One of the pastoral team who is a nurse sat with them throughout the night until his death . 

John’s phrase of “‘Tis what it is my ‘ansome” summed up his philosophical approach to illness and life in general summoning up energy for his daily sketches and posts on Facebook and early in his journey with  cancer he even took on being deanery Reader Steward and attempted to promote meetings, a quiet day and prayer. He was a little disheartened that the response was less than he hoped but then not everyone had John’s passion! 

Rest in Peace John and Rise in Glory! 

As Chaplain to Readers I very much appreciated John’s wisdom and wit. He had the special talent of being able to sidetrack any discussion that was floundering and to insert a pithy comment that would temper a more extreme view.  I knew John  for many years, our paths in teaching crossing fairly frequently  – usually on courses but I got to know him much more in retirement in his last years as a driving force in the church and in his dedication to reader ministry. He was vociferous about the fact that when he had asked the bishop about being a reader, the (then) bishop had suggested ordination and John turned it down flat!  

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