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Tributes paid to popular Lincolnshire vicar

Tributes are being paid to a much-loved priest, who was also a farmer and major figure in the Lincolnshire agricultural community.

The Rev David Creasey passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 30, in Peterborough City Hospital, after suffering a lung condition for a year.

David Creasy (6339013)
David Creasy (6339013)

The 72-year-old from Hanthorpe, near Bourne, was an unpaid priest for the Corby Glen Benefice and had given his last Midnight Mass at Irnham on Christmas Eve.

David was also third-generation farmer, born and raised in Hanthorpe and a founder and vice-chairman of the Lincolnshire Rural Support Network.

David held office in the National Farmers’ Union, both as chairman of the Bourne branch and Holland (Lincs) county chairman. He was also chairman of the NFU Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire livestock committee during the mid-1990s BSE crisis.

The issue BSE caused for local farmers, coupled with his passion for farming, led David to become involved in promoting local produce, with him becoming a founder director of Lincolnshire Quality Beef and Lamb, a livestock marketing co-operative, and committee member of the Lincolnshire County Food Group.

In 1999, David with Canon Alan Robson, Lincolnshire’s Agricultural Chaplain, and other farmers formed what was then the Lincolnshire Rural Stress Network. David manned the helpline, was a caseworker, mentor to staff and volunteers, and a mainstay of it.

David also served on Morton and Hanthorpe Parish Council for 18 years and was chairman for 15 years. Current chairman Richard Wells said: “He worked tirelessly for the village community expecting neither thanks nor recognition. He will leave a gap which will be difficult to fill.”

David had always felt a calling for the church and finally in his early 60s, he achieved that dream. He was ordained a non-stipendiary priest in the Diocese of Lincoln in 2007 and regularly delivered services locally and also to the wider Lincolnshire farming community. He also helped organise the annual Lincolnshire Harvest Festival at Lincoln Cathedral.

The Lincolnshire Rural Support Network described David as “a kind, generous and compassionate man.”

“He had a quiet strength; his faith was unshakeable and his love of the farming and rural community was complete. David devoted his life to helping others.”

LSRN chairman Meryl Ward also noted his “quick wit and courteous charm.”

Father Andrew Hawes, of Little Bytham, said David was generous and practical, with a great gift for friendship and hospitality, in which his wife Fiona was an active part. “His preaching was wonderfully concise, throwing new light on every subject he touched, not least because of his wide reading, broad life experience and natural bent for deep reflection.”

The Rev Stephen Buckman, of Corby Glen, described David as “an exceptional priest who worked quietly in the background.”

“David was so loving and welcoming. There is such a profound sense of loss across all six of my parishes.”

The funeral service for David is at 11am on January 25 at St John the Baptist Church, Morton. There are Books of Condolence in the churches in Corby Glen, Irnham and Burton-le-Coggles.

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