Priest killed in road horror

A PRIEST who served in both Suffolk and Essex has been killed in a road accident.The Rev Jill Newham, formerly the priest-in-charge of Bildeston with Wattisham and Lindsey, was killed in a road accident on Sunday.

By John Howard

A PRIEST who served in both Suffolk and Essex has been killed in a road accident.

The Rev Jill Newham, formerly the priest-in-charge of Bildeston with Wattisham and Lindsey, was killed in a road accident on Sunday.

She was ordained in her mid-50s and served in the Chelmsford Diocese in Mersea, and also Peldon with Great and Little Wigborough. She moved to Suffolk in 1997 to work as priest-in-charge at parishes in the Bildeston area, near Stowmarket. At the time of her death she was serving in the diocese of Ripon and Leeds.


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Last night, the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Right Reverend Richard Lewis, paid tribute to her life and commitment to the Church.

He said: “Jill was a remarkable priest. Her experiences of life helped shape her into a caring priest who contributed much to the life of the parishes. She left a lasting effect on the whole diocese. My thoughts are with her family at this time.''

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Last year she moved to the diocese of Ripon and Leeds to be curate of Whixley with Green Hammerton. The Bishop of Ripon, the Right Rev John Packer, said: “It is with great sadness that I received the news of Jill's death.

“Jill came to the area from Suffolk last year and yet in that short time, she has inspired, encouraged and endeared herself both to members of the congregations at Whixley and Green Hammerton and to the wider community in which she served as a priest.

“Jill had a particular quality of pastoral care and listening which was greatly valued and she will be sadly missed. I wish to extend our deepest condolences to her family and assure them of our prayers.''

The Rev David Wheeler, area dean for Ripon and a colleague, said he believed she had been travelling home at the time of the accident.

He paid tribute to her wisdom and humour.

A spokesman for the North Yorkshire Police said Rev Newham was involved in the two car accident, which happened on a B class road between Boroughbridge and Green Hammerton, near York.

Rev Newham was the only person in her car. There were four women in the other car, a Metro, and one young woman was seriously injured.

Rev Newham was 66 and her death will now be reported to a coroner. She was a widow and leaves two sons, one who is a priest in the Chichester diocese.

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