Service is held for rural dean of Hoxne famous for Stradbroke church abseil
- Credit: Archant
More than 200 people packed a village church for a service in memory of one of Suffolk's most colourful clerics.
Rev David Streeter, former rector of Stradbroke, Horham, Athelington and Redlingfield, died in October last year at the age of 73 – three years after he retired following 50 years in the priesthood.
His widow, Margaret, said she was 'amazed' by the number of people who had turned up for a memorial service held in Horham Church and conducted by lay elder Laurence Weaver.
'We had to bring in many extra chairs and had people sitting in all areas of the church, including the porch,' she said.
At the end of the service Mrs Streeter handed each member of the congregation a sprig of rosemary in remembrance of her husband. Mr Streeter's younger brother, Paddy, said David had loved Stradbroke and the neighbouring villages and had a real bond with local people. They had regarded him with great warmth, he said.
'What is certain is that every one of us, as long as we live, will remember him as a fine, genuine Christian man. We are all the better for knowing him,' he added.
Deeply compassionate but considered eccentric in some quarters, Mr Streeter was most widely known for his colourful clothing, his love of the Royal Family and his 'dare-devil' exploits in abseiling down Stradbroke church tower to raise funds.
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Educated at Harrow School, he went on to study at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Queen's College, Birmingham.
His first job as a clergyman was as curate at first Saffron Walden and then Shrub End, Colchester.
He was rector at Rayne in the Chelmsford Diocese from 1973 till 1979 and then vicar of Higham's Park, near Walthamstow, until 1982 when he moved to Stradbroke. He served as rural dean of Hoxne from 1991 to 2000.
During more than 30 years in Stradbroke he dabbled in amateur drama and was a great fan of Gilbert and Sullivan musicals.
A collection at the end of the memorial service raised £634.45 in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.