Funeral of Minister falsely accused of abuse

June 15, 2003

A UK clergyman who died in a car fire in an apparent suicide was remembered with warmth and humour at his funeral today.Hundreds of mourners gathered to commemorate the life of the Rev John Pugh, 54, minister of the United Reformed Church (URC) in Stowmarket, Suffolk, who died earlier this month.He died in his blazing car, which was parked outside his home, just days after he was arrested over allegations that he had indecently assaulted a boy in the late 1980s – claims he had vehemently denied.He was released on police bail without charge.His coffin, adorned with white flowers, was carried into the town centre church followed by his wife Diane, son Barnabas, 17, who suffered burns trying to free his father from the fire, daughter Rebecca, who is in her early 20s, and other family members.The Rev Elizabeth Caswell, moderator of the eastern synod of the URC, described Mr Pugh as quick-witted, warm-hearted, generous, forgiving, and loved by the community.

 

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