Worle vicar dies after suffering a stroke

PUBLISHED: 05:17 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 24 May 2010

LEADING clergyman and devoted family man Neville Kent has died. Reverend Prebendary Kent suffered a massive stroke on Monday and died peacefully in Weston General Hospital on Tuesday (Sept 19). The 66-year-old was team rector of the ecumenical parish of W

LEADING clergyman and devoted family man Neville Kent has died.Reverend Prebendary Kent suffered a massive stroke on Monday and died peacefully in Weston General Hospital on Tuesday (Sept 19).The 66-year-old was team rector of the ecumenical parish of Worle for 17 years and the mayor's chaplain.Married to Margaret since 1962, they had two sons, Michael, aged 43, and 40-year-old Nicholas. His twin nine-year-old grandchildren Alice and Laura 'kept him young'.Michael said: "We would always say he was first and foremost a parish priest."But at heart he was a private man, devoted to this family."Dad had an amazing memory for people's names and places."I can remember standing on some Cornish harbour and him spotting someone in a crowd, going up to them and saying I married your daughter."There aren't many people left in Worle that haven't had a family member christened, married or buried by dad."Fascinated by politics, Rev Kent stood as an independent candidate in council elections several years ago.His other passions were pubs, real ale and steam trains. His favourite saying was 'mug with a handle please' and he was a shareholder in the West Somerset Railway.During his 17 years in Worle, Rev Kent was county scout chaplain for Avon, sat on the diocesan education board and was governor of several schools including the new St Georges Primary School.The silver spade used for the school's turf cutting ceremony sits proudly in his study. He was also key in re-establishing the Christmas lights in Worle High Street about five years ago.Rev Kent was a recognised and regarded Methodist minister and became a prebendary of Wells Cathedral in 1994.A Rotarian for nearly 30 years, in January he became a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest award in the organisation worldwide.He was a founding member of the Albemarle Centre in Taunton, which has a community centre, a sheltered housing project and facilities for people with learning difficulties.Rev Kent's funeral will be held on Thursday at St Martin's Church in Worle at 1pm, followed by a service at Weston Crematorium. There will be family flowers only with donations split between St Martin's Church Fabric Fund and the Albemarle Centre in Taunton.For details call The Elms Funeral Directors on 01934 616006.

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