Memorial backed for tragic minister

THE widow of a minister who tragically took his own life has spoken of her joy that town councillors have agreed to a memorial seat to commemorate his life.

THE widow of a minister who tragically took his own life has spoken of her joy that town councillors have agreed to a memorial seat to commemorate his life.

Stowmarket church minister the Rev John Pugh, 54, had spent 23 years of his life working tirelessly for the United Reformed Church in the town centre.

He took his own life outside the family home in Temple Road in a blazing car on June 3 last year.

Now his widow Diane, who was married to the minister for 27 years, has approached the town council seeking their permission to place an inscribed seat in his memory outside their offices.


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Mrs Pugh, a 50-year-old Stowupland High School teacher who still lives in Stowmarket, said: “He described himself as a country parson, lived in Stowmarket for 24 years and loved the town and Suffolk.

“It seems very fitting that we should have a public amenity for him in the community where his loss is still very keenly felt.

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“I am delighted the council has agreed, I feel the gardens here are beautiful and it's a suitable spot for a seat.

“My husband was very involved in weddings and this is outside the marriage rooms at the town council, and that seems a suitable place.

“He was very involved with the community of Stowmarket and this is something to remember him with.''

Town councillor Keith Myers-Hewitt said: “I knew John Pugh pretty well and had the greatest admiration for him. He was a very good man and did a lot of good work. I fully endorse this.''

Councillor Marilyn Finbow said: “I'm only sorry we did not come up with the suggestion ourselves.''

An inquest into Mr Pugh's death found he took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

He had been arrested five days before the fire, accused of indecently assaulting a teenager in the late 1980s and had been released on bail pending investigations.

Mr Pugh, who vehemently denied the allegation, could not bear the thought of the harm to his good name and reputation.

Town councillors, meeting at their Milton Road offices on Wednesday night, voted to allow an inscribed seat to be placed in the Milton House gardens.

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