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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Murdered vicar John Suddards spoke of risks in church work

A clergyman who died of stab wounds in the hallway of his vicarage had spoken of the risks involved in the church's open-door policy just months before his death, it has emerged.
The Rev John Suddards, 59, told a community radio station in south Gloucestershire that it was important to take in strangers but the practice was not without dangers.
"The church has been there for the people of Thornbury for hundreds of years. I know of few people who don't go in there and find something that helps them and lifts them," he told GlossFM.
"It's a place where people do go and encounter God and that's a huge part of our work to make that possible. Christianity is always about risk – or it should be – and we always have to take risks. But we believe they are the risks we are called upon to take."
Stephen Farrow, 47, of no fixed abode, has been charged with the separate murders of Suddards and the retired teacher Betty Yates.
Suddards was found stabbed to death at his home next to St Mary's church in Thornbury on 14 February, while Yates, 77, was discovered stabbed at her cottage in Bewdley on 2 January.
Farrow also faces a charge of burglary relating to a separate property in Thornbury between 21 December and 3 January.
A preliminary hearing is due to take place on 9 March. Farrow has been remanded in custody.

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