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The Rev’d Canon Colin G Johnson

Tributes have been paid to a vicar who ministered all his working life across the Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria.

The Rev’d Canon Colin G Johnson died on Wednesday 18 July, aged 85. For 35 years he served parishes in Barrow, Addingham, Carlisle and Wigton before retiring in 1996.

Colin was also made an Honorary Canon of Carlisle Cathedral in 1985 and was granted the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate, meaning he could continue to minister after retirement.

The Rev’d Canon Geoffrey Ravalde, who his successor as Vicar of Wigton, said: “Colin was a much loved parish priest and a community person through and through. He was forever patient, cheerful and outgoing and was very well known outside the walls of the church.”

Graduating from Leeds University in 1959 with a degree in General Studies, Rev’d Johnson then undertook theological training at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, in West Yorkshire. He was ordained Deacon in 1961 and Priest a year later.

He served his curacy at Barrow St Matthew and St Francis from 1961 to 1967, before taking the position of Vicar of Addingham, near Penrith, from 1967 to 1971. There followed a nine year incumbency as Vicar of Carlisle Holy Trinity before Colin became the Vicar of Wigton, serving there for ten years. His final incumbency saw him return to Barrow St Matthew and St Francis as Vicar from 1990 to 1996.

Colin married his wife, Barbara, in 1961. The couple adopted their family of six children and have eleven grandchildren. They retired to Ireby.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome, said: “Colin’s ministry was one of dedication to the communities he served and dedication to God. We give thanks for all the lives he touched and the witness he bore as he shone the light of Jesus onto others.

“It seems wonderfully fitting that his final incumbency saw him return to Barrow St Matthew and St Francis as Vicar, where his many years in ministry first began as curate. Our prayers are with Colin’s family now and in the future as they come to terms with their deep loss.”

The funeral and interment will be held at St James Ireby at 11.30am on Thursday 26 July.


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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