Rev John Suddards: mourners pay tribute to murdered vicar

| March 31, 2012

Reverend John Suddards, 59, was discovered dead in his vicarage by builders on St Valentine's Day.

On Saturday he was given a last goodbye in the church where he was installed as priest only eight-and-a-half months ago.

The news of his death sent shock waves through the clergy and the close-knit community in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, about 11 miles north of Bristol.

Nearly 500 people filled St Mary's Church for Mr Suddards's funeral, which was led by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Rev Michael Perham.

Among the mourners were the Bishop of Colchester and clergy and friends from Mr Suddards's former parish in Witham, Essex.

Speaking ahead of the service, The Venerable Geoffrey Sidaway, Archdeacon of Gloucester, paid tribute to Mr Suddards.

"It's seven weeks of course since these communities were rocked by the tragic death of their parish priest," he said.

"Today we have brought John back here to the church he loved and served for a funeral Eucharist led by the Bishop of Gloucester.

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Category: Church Security

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