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Former vicar and passionate school governor the Rev Canon Brian Cole leaves £5,000 legacy to Litcham School

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 April 2017

Rev Canon Brian Cole, who has now died, on his last day as school governor at Litcham School. He left £5,000 to the school in his will. Picture: Ian Burt

Rev Canon Brian Cole, who has now died, on his last day as school governor at Litcham School. He left £5,000 to the school in his will. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

Thousands of pounds has been left to a mid Norfolk school in the will of a former chair of governors who was passionate about education.

Litcham School, which teaches students aged four-16, was bequeathed £5,000 from the Rev Canon Brian Cole, of Swaffham, who died aged 81.

The retired clergyman played an active part on the school’s governing body for more than 38 years, including being chairman for 20 years until 2013.

Canon Cole had four sons, all of whom studied at Litcham School, and five grandchildren.

Robert Cole, 53, one of Canon Cole’s two sons, said: “The £5,000 legacy is a fitting gesture. My father was very committed to the school. He had very fond memories of the school. It was close to his heart.

“He was committed to ensuring that the children had equal opportunities to the best education possible. He was passionate about education.

“Litcham School was a regular feature of his day to day activities. He always talked about it with warmth, passion and energy.”

Canon Cole did not dictate what the money should go towards but his son added: “I hope it will be used for a significant amount of children.”

The 53-year-old said the £5,000 was a “significant” part of his late father’s estate.

During his time at the school Canon Cole outlasted seven prime ministers, four head teachers and numerous changes in the education system.

During his time as chair he was “instrumental” in the selection of headteachers and had to make “difficult decisions” which troubled him, according to Mr Cole.

Born and raised in Maldon, Essex, Canon Cole moved to Great Dunham, near Swaffham, in 1973 when he was assigned as rector to the parishes of Great and Little Dunham.

He first became involved with education at Litcham School in 1973 as a member of the teacher-parent governing body while one of his two daughters was at the school.

At the time it was a secondary modern.

In 1974 he assumed responsibility for Great and Little Fransham and in 1981 his group of parishes extended to Sporle and Palgrave.

He retired from the Church of England in 2000 after 56 years as a vicar.

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