Seaton and Beer say farewell to vicar and his family

Seaton and Beer vicar Jeremy Trew, pictured with wife Alison, centre, and daughters Rachel, left, and Eleanor, right

Seaton and Beer are saying farewell to their vicar Jeremy Trew, pictured with his wife Alison, centre, and daughters Rachel, left, and Eleanor, right - Credit: David Bruce

Church-goers in Seaton and Beer have said a fond farewell to their vicar and his family as they move to a new appointment in Essex.

David Bruce, churchwarden at St Gregory’s in Seaton, told the Midweek Herald: “It is with great sadness that I, as churchwarden of St Gregory’s and Gayle Chapple, my fellow churchwarden of St Michael’s in Beer, have had to say goodbye to our joint vicar Jeremy Trew and his lovely family, who have just moved to pastures new. 

“Jeremy will be licensed as team rector of the Saffron Walden and Villages Team on March 3 this year and also to serve as area dean. I know he will be looking forward to working with the 12 churches of his new team and the wider deanery.”

David explained that Jeremy’s wife Alison would continue to work for an educational charity supporting primary teachers to develop science in their schools. The couple’s daughters Rachel and Eleanor, both students and formers pupils of Woodroffe and Colyton schools respectively, will be joining their parents in their holidays. Rachel is a second year student at Bristol UWE, studying business studies. As all her lectures are online she will be moving to Saffron Walden with her parents. Eleanor is working abroad but will return to Edinburgh University this September to finish her architectural degree. 

David said: “Jeremy was first ordained in 1997, one year before my wife Sharon and I, with our then young children, James and Victoria, came to Seaton. We started going to St Gregory’s after Sharon met Julie Schofied, the then wife of Tim, its vicar, at the school gate of Seaton Primary School, collecting their kids. 

“Jeremy’s first ministry was in a little village near Harrogate in Yorkshire where he looked after four churches. I was privileged to be on the small committee with Chris Gamwell, now a retired judge, representing Seaton, and Jean Smith and the late Peter Dormer from Beer. I think I have that right but my memory is not what it was. So apologies if I have missed anyone. 

“Jeremy was selected in 2007 so has been with us for nearly 14 years. How time flies. Each applicant had to give a short sermon in front of our small selection committee and Jeremy impressed me by getting out of his pocket some IT gadget like a tablet. I can’t remember the sermon but it must have been good and helped by his use of 21st century technology! Maybe ‘somebody’ was telling me that could be useful with the advent of Covid in 2020 and the forced use of online services, which we all have enjoyed in these trying times: Sitting on the rocks at Seaton and Beer with the waves rolling in whilst giving his sermon will remain lovingly with me for ever.”

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David said that during Jeremy’s time the churches had grown their outreach through Messy Church, Open the Book at Seaton and Beer primary schools, the Freedom Cafe,  improvements to theirchurch hall, Friends of St Gregory and the well supported children’s music sessions in both parishes. 

He added: “We will now have a long wait of probably one year before, hopefully, a new vicar is appointed for us. Much will depend on whether we can afford it. Looking after very old church

buildings and employing clergy is demanding and costly, to say the least, but we are determined and committed to do so. 

“In the meantime, we are truly blessed with the excellent support and experience of our associate priests Alison Finch and, of course, our own Simon Hitchcock to guide us through with the continued excellent support of our reader, Sue Price and retired vicars, John Holder and Chris Thacker. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead with our fantastic team. 

“We all wish Jeremy and his lovely family every happiness and good health in their new home at Saffron Walden.”

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