Weston priest, 75, dies in Jerusalem after helping bring different faiths together

PUBLISHED: 06:40 09 February 2019

Gill Putnam (third from left) died at the end of January.

Gill Putnam (third from left) died at the end of January.

Archant

A former Weston priest has died in Israel after going out to Jerusalem to work on bringing religious groups together.

Custody Chaplain Gill Putnam.Custody Chaplain Gill Putnam.

Gillian Putnam died late last month at the age of 75.

She spent much of her life living in Weston before moving out to the Middle East five years ago.

Gill was well-known in Weston and Worle after setting up Chaplaincy about Town and carrying out a ‘diverse’ work in the town.

But while it was Weston where she made her name, Gill was born in Street before moving to the coast.

Gill Putnam (left0 representing Chaplaincy about TownGill Putnam (left0 representing Chaplaincy about Town

Her husband Peter ran an off-licence in Worle and the pair lived with their two sons Jeremy and Edward above the shop for many years.

But the couple had a number of other interests, including antiques which they sold at Birnbeck back when the pier was open to visitors.

They also had a store by the pier where they mended items, including gramophones.

But it was in religious circles Gill was best known, having been ordained as a deacon in 2001 and a priest 12 months later.

Jeremy said: “Before moving abroad, she was actively involved in ministry work in Weston – her home church was St Peter’s in Milton.

“She set up Chaplaincy about Town in Meadow Street – she worked pretty much full time helping people in the town.

Jeremy said her work was ‘diverse’ and much appreciated, as she worked alongside other churches, the homeless, businesses, councils, mayors and voluntary groups to help the people of Weston.

Gill would also work with the police to help those arrested and offenders prior to their release from jail.

Jeremy added: “In recent years she was involved in an organisation overseas called the Bat Kol Institute and it sets up an environment where Christians can learn about Jewish customs.”

Her work brought together people of varying faiths and denominations.

Gill died on January 28 in Jerusalem.

Her funeral will be held on Monday morning.

The service, at St Peter’s Church, will begin at 11am and Jeremy hopes friends of her will be able to attend.

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