Beth Brown

A large tunrout is epxected for the funeral service of the Rev Beth Brown on Saturday (17) at 12.30 at St Mary’s Bishops Cannings .

Miss Brown, who lived in the vicarage in Bishops Cannings, near Devizes, died aged 63, two weeks ago after being involved in a car accident in December.

She was born in St Asaph in North Wales in 1954, but did most of her growing up in Warwick, where the family moved in 1963. She attended Leamington College for Girls before graduating in maths at Bristol University. Between 1976 and 1993 she taught maths at Hayesfield Girls’ School in Bath, Writhlington in Radstock and King Edward’s School in Bath.

During this time she was very active in the local churches – St Swithin’s in Walcot, All Saints Weston and St John’s Lower Weston.

She felt called to the Anglican Ministry and was ordained during the early days of women priests in the Church of England. She trained for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol, where three members of the teaching staff were among the first women to be ordained priest in 1994. Beth was ordained deacon in1995 and priest in 1996.

After ordination she served as a curate at St Peter’s Taunton until 1999, when she returned to Bath as a ‘mission vicar’ covering Twerton and parts of Oldfield Park.

In autumn 2006 she was appointed Priest Missioner in a large new housing development in North Swindon, setting up a church in the new primary school hall, and making links especially with children and families. In December 2008 she moved to east Swindon as Associate Vicar.

After retiring from full time ministry in June 2015, Beth took up a part-time post as an Associate Priest with the Cannings and Redhorn Ministry team covering eight parishes and living in the vicarage at Bishop’s Cannings.

She adapted quickly to village life, made very many friends and enjoyed taking her beloved West Highland terrier Cariad on daily walks in the area. She was kept busy due to the ill health and then retirement of the team vicar, Rev William Lang, until the arrival of Rev Richard Curtis inJuly 2017. Despite having an absolute terror of heights, on December 2 she climbed the tower of St Mary’s , Bishop’s Cannings, to raise funds for the church.

Her sister Katrina Sudbury said: Beth had a sense of fun, such an infectious laugh, such a big heart – she will be terribly missed by her family, friends, parishioners and the many, many people whose lives she touched."