Former Goole Vicar, Reverend Timothy Leach has sadly died at the age of 81.
The Vicar who served at St John’s Parish Church for over 15 years, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Monday, January 9 after an 18-month fight with cancer. Since his passing, his family have paid tribute to the man who they have described as kind, considerate, funny and their hero. Timothy, known to most as Tim, was born on January 15, 1941 in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham to Herbert and Mary Leach. He was the middle child of three boys, with an older brother, Fred, and younger brother, Jim. After studying for a degree in Economics at Newcastle University, Tim moved to Cambridge to complete his theological training at Ridley Hall.
It was during his time in Cambridge that Tim also met his wife Moira, who was a Youth Fellowship Leader at a local church. The couple married on June 5, 1969 and welcomed four children, Alex, Simon, Matthew and Hannah, who in later years gave the couple four grandchildren, Sophie, Isaac, Jacob and Lucy. After spending nine years as the Priest in Charge in West Bessacar, Doncaster, Tim and his family moved to Goole in 1980, where he served for 15 and a half years at St John’s Parish Church. During his time as Vicar of Goole, Tim carried out hundreds of weddings, baptisms, funerals, church services and school visits and assemblies, as well as visiting sick people in the community and supporting the work of the Seaman's Mission. Alongside the more formal and serious parts of his job, Tim also loved to have fun, working as a magician at children’s parties, organising Bonfire Night events in the church grounds and playing alongside Frank Ella in piano concerts.
Current Vicar of St John’s, Rev Hannah Patton met Tim after moving to Goole and described him as kind, encouraging and having a great sense of fun. She said: “Tim is remembered very fondly by so many people in the congregation and wider town, he was well known and loved. People often recall his genuine care and great sense of fun, and he played an important part in many people’s lives and in the town in general. “I was privileged to meet him a few years ago, and he was so kind and encouraging to me. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”
After leaving Goole in 1995, Tim served as Vicar of Wath-upon-Dearne, until retiring to Thurcroft in 2008, where he continued to carry out a full range of church services across the Diocese and be an active member of the local community. Outside of his working life, Tim had a huge range of hobbies and interests including photography, music, Monty Python, model making, aircrafts, space travel and the planets. During his time in Goole, he even contributed to a photography book, entitled Glimpses of Goole' alongside Earnest Ferriman, with the book still available to buy on Amazon today. Tim will be missed by hundreds of people across the communities he served in, but most of all he will be missed by his devoted family, who say he was their hero.
The family said: “As a family we shared dad/Tim with every member of each parish community in which he lived and worked in both past and present. He was kind, patient, gentle, welcoming, considerate, generous with his time, had wicked sense of humour, open-minded, a great supporter of those on the margins. “He made a positive impact on so many people and since he died, the incredible response from those whose lives he touched has been overwhelming and humbling. Thank you to everyone who has let us know how much he meant to them. “We will treasure our memories; of family holidays in various Renault 4s, picnics in the cars when it was raining, looking round churches on days off, family get-togethers, making Lego Star Wars models, spectacular waistcoats and flashing bow-ties, the collection of hats, a love of chocolate, piggy back rides, carving a roast dinner, laughing together, cricket on the radio, chatting about books, cars, and music, listening to him playing the piano, the ever present camera. “We will remember him as, quite simply, the best husband, dad, father-in-law, and grandpa ever. Our hero.”
Tim served as the Vicar in Goole for over 15 years. (19-01-124 SU)