'Called to Serve'
The stories of the ordinands of St
Faith's, Great Crosby
John Edwin Bebb
John Edwin Bebb was one of many people
called to serve the ministry who enjoyed strong links
with St. Faith’s. His name is recorded on
several occasions in registers of services at St.
Faith’s, first appearing in the summer of 1934 and
then in Lent, 1937. Dorothy Carter, a much-loved
late member of St Faith’s, wrote in a 1980 church
magazine article of some of her past memories.
In this she recalled John Bebb as being one of several
men called to the ministry from St. Faith’s.
John was born on the 21st November 1913 in Clapton,
London. His parents, Frank and Kathleen had married in
1908. Family circumstances brought John and his
elder brother to Liverpool where they were educated at
The Liverpool Institute. He graduated in
Theology from St John’s College, Durham in 1935.
We cannot be certain of how John became associated
with St. Faith’s; it is unlikely that he lived in the
area as he attended The Liverpool Institute. It
might be possible that Canon John Brierley, one time
vicar of St. Faith’s and who, from 1934 had been on
the Patronage Board of St. Chad's College, Durham, may
have first introduced him to St. Faith’s.
He was ordained a deacon at Liverpool Cathedral 20th
December 1936. There is a record of a John Bebb
having conducted several marriages at St. Thomas,
Seaforth between 1936 and 1937. In 1937 John was
licensed to St. John and St. James, Litherland, where
he served as curate until 1940. It was during this
period that John provided Compline at St. Faith’s
during Holy Week.
There appears to be a blank in his working life
between 1940 and 1945. It’s possible that he may
have had some involvement in the war effort but he was
evidently busy in other ways as in 1940, he married
Joyce Tilley in Durham later having two children; Kath
We next pick up his ministry in 1945 following his
induction as vicar of St. Mary, Lower Ince, Wigan,
that year. Early on in his ministry a newspaper
reported of his going down the local coalmine to
experience for himself the harsh working conditions of
miners, “I dug coal myself,” he said afterwards, “but
I would not fancy doing it for eight hours at a
John held several incumbencies over the following
decades at churches spread across the country from the
Solway Firth (Christ Church, Silloth), to the Isle of
Wight (also named Christ Church). He also taught
Religious Studies at a school.
John finally retired after a full and active career to
the Lake District in1983.
He died aged 79 on the 27th October 1993 in Kendal, in
his beloved Lake District.
(With grateful acknowledgement to Peter Bebb and Anne
Gilbert). Updated and amended
April 24th, 2015