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Service for vicar who died in car fire

PUBLISHED: 18:08 28 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

A REMEMBRANCE service dedicated to a Suffolk minister who killed himself in a car fire last year will be held on the anniversary of his death.

Parishioners will meet to remember the Rev John Pugh, of Stowmarket, at the town's United Reformed Church (URC) on Thursday.

A REMEMBRANCE service dedicated to a Suffolk minister who killed himself in a car fire last year will be held on the anniversary of his death.

Parishioners will meet to remember the Rev John Pugh, of Stowmarket, at the town's United Reformed Church (URC) on Thursday.

Mr Pugh died outside his home in Temple Road, aged 54, after serving at the URC for 23 years.

Rev John Proctor, interim minister at the church, said: "This is a pastoral occasion, an opportunity to remember John with dignity, sorrow and respect.

"He was known throughout his years in Stowmarket as a fine and caring minister so it is understandable that many people in the church and community have found it so difficult to come to terms with the tragic manner of his death."

An inquest into the death was held at the Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds, in October.

It found that Mr Pugh "took his own life while balance of his mind was disturbed".

After his death it had surfaced that Mr Pugh had been arrested five days before the fire accused of indecently assaulting a teenager in the late 80s. He had been released on bail pending further police investigations.

The fire was started when Mr Pugh lit a mixture of gas and fuel. It was witnessed by Mr Pugh's 17-year-old son Barnabas who suffered burns trying to save him.

The Pause for Prayer service next Thursday will begin at 9.30am and the church will be open until 12.30pm. It will reopen in the evening from 7pm with a shared worship from 8pm led by Mr Proctor.

He said: "All members of the congregation and friends from the wider community are invited to come, to remember, to give thanks and pray."

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