Rev. A. W. E. McComb

By the passing of the Rev. A. W. E. McComb the parish of St. John de Sepulchre has lost a hard-working and kindly vicar and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital a beloved chaplain.

No one who had anything to do with him, whether in Church life or outside, will fail to miss him greatly.

Several years of missionary work in the Far West had given him a broad outlook and a deep understanding of his fellow men.

A Churchman of the Anglo-Catholic school, he never sought in any parish he served to impose his. own doctrinal views unless they were acceptable to the majority of his flock.

A Middle Course

In the time of the Rev. G. N. Herbert, St. John de Sepulchre Church was a stronghold of purely Protesant teaching; his successor, the Rev. A. Henderson, imparted a pronounced Anglo-Catholic atmosphere. Mr. McComb struck a middle course and strengthened the position of the church as the spiritual centre of the parish.

Devoted as he was to his work as a parish priest, his duties as Hospital chaplain probably appealed to him even more.

He could the better sympathise with patients in their distress because of his own experiences of suffering. Though never the man to talk about it, he was not infrequently a martyr to pain through aural trouble. and had undergone several operations. More recently his heart had become seriously affected, but he did not allow the warning symptoms to reduce his activities.

Returned to Missionary Work

In the Great War Mr. McComb applied for an Army chaplaincy. The doctors passed him as Al, but as after long delay no appointment was offered him he returned to missionary work in the West.

But he could not rest content while the war continued. He came back to England in the hope that a chaplaincy with the Forces might be found for him, but then came the Armistice.

His desire to be of spiritual help to men in H.M. Forces and to bear his part in the war to the limit of his capacity led him quite recently to offer his services in a similar way. To his great disappointment he was told that he was over age.