Revd. Canon Paul Vann

 
Revd. Canon Paul Vann_______________________________________________________________________________

1092 (Bridgend) Squadron recently said goodbye to their much respected and loved Chaplain, Reverend Canon Paul Vann. Paul was a retired Anglican priest who was a close to permanent feature on the Squadron. The measure of Paul’s worth was reflected in the response of many past cadets to his death relating how at difficult times Paul had been there ‘unassuming, unjudging’, ready to listen and support. Perhaps I am wrong, but I do not think Paul came easily to his vocation in the sense that he worked hard at his studies and his priesthood and looked to his ministry as about meeting the needs of others before his own. Before the Americanism crept into UK usage, Paul was a priest ‘24/7’. One of Paul’s favourite sayings was ‘Preach the Gospel, use words if you must’ and this was a blueprint for his life and ministry.

Paul was not a man to run away from struggle. Not content with coping with the demands of challenging parishes he variously served as a Chaplain with the Police and Prison Services, the Royal British Legion and a whole raft of youth organizations. Whatever he did his involvement was always of a total and wholehearted character, whatever the group, whatever the cause Paul gave it 100% commitment and his honest endeavour. The way he was made meant he could do nothing less. Paul was a serial letter writer in what he perceived to the cause of good and justice – one of his well-aimed missives to the House of Lords is credited with helping to retain the independence of 3 Welsh Wing ATC in the face of a developing merger plan.

1092 Squadron provided a guard of honour at Paul’s funeral, there were close to 30 cadets present – already volunteers -  a rare tribute and much deserved in all respects.

Paul married Heather in 1967 and they have 3 children.

 

Article kindly supplied by: Sqn Ldr Gerry Lewis RAF VR(T) - Deputy OC 3WW

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