Tributes paid to ‘wonderful, courageous and lovely’ Hugh
- Credit: Archant
A theologian who helped bring same-sex marriage to Sidmouth will remain in the hearts and minds of all who knew him.
Hugh Barlow taught geography but was soon drawn to the church, earning a Bachelor of Divinity before going on to train ministers in England and Nigeria.
On returning to London, Hugh met Elizabeth and they enjoyed a happy marriage of 45 years.
In 2005, they retired to Seaton, where Hugh became deeply involved in the running and management of the town’s food bank. He later advised the founders of the Sid Valley group.
Seaton’s Christian Aid group was nearly at the point of collapse, but he succeeded in restoring it to a going concern.
In June, Hugh led Sidmouth Unitarian Church to become the first church in Devon to offer same-sex marriages, after a year-long application process.
“He was 76, but he never retired,” said Elizabeth. “He wasn’t doing paid work, but he was always doing something.
- 1 Plans for new town - and THOUSANDS of new homes - in East Devon revealed
- 2 Chiefs' rebranding dignifies the club and city
- 3 The show must go on as theatre group takes to the stage
- 4 Ottery family lights up home in memory of mum
- 5 Designated drivers offered free drinks this Christmas
- 6 Two-years-missing cat back home after turning up in Sidmouth
- 7 Dates for Santa's sleigh tour of Sidmouth, Sidford and Newton Poppleford
- 8 Anniversary gives chance for a look back on three years in the valley
- 9 Plans for quarry at Ottery St Mary REFUSED
- 10 Air ambulance attends beach fall incident in Sidmouth
“He was absolutely delighted to get the permission [for same-sex marriages]. It was such a battle.”
She added: “When he was in hospital, he couldn’t understand why he had so many visitors. He was really popular.
“Now, I find when I walk around town that people are still asking about him. He was wonderful.”
Hugh died on August 27. His funeral last Friday was attended by 65 people and led by a retired Unitarian minister, the Reverend Tony McNeile, who spoke of Hugh’s work and studies, his cheerfulness and his sense of humour.
A friend, Miriam Brown said: “Hugh will remain in the hearts and minds of all who knew him, as a man of gentle speech and of both spiritual and practical wisdom.”
Robert Crick, another friend, paid tribute to his valiance and courage.
He said: “He was very good at quietly and mildly standing his ground about homelessness or assisted dying, and discussing issues that are controversial in a way that was so very inoffensive.”