Tony Idle: Coming to St John's

Hilary Buxton

In this interview Tony talks about how he and Myra started coming to St John’s, and he speaks about his role in the church over the years.

Then listen to Tony’s views about the developments at St John sub Castro as part of the new Trinity Church in the final part of this interview.


Tony, what attracted you to St John sub Castro Church?
I’ll tell you what happened. The day after we moved into Lewes – we retired down here from London – and the day after we moved in we walked around and said ‘Let’s see what the churches are like round here’.
So being a Thursday we couldn’t go in but we found a church that looked as if it might be interesting. It was the nearest – St John sub Castro – so we thought we will try that one on Sunday.
So Sunday morning came and we walked up to the church, and lo and behold, we heard a man preaching there, and he was speaking about the Transfiguration of Jesus.
And do you know, he was preaching on it as if he believed it!
Wonderful – he wasn’t trying to talk it away – he wasn’t trying to make it into something it wasn’t. This is what the story said, and this is what happened.
And from that time we decided we would make St John’s our church – and we are still there now aren’t we!

When did you start to attend how many years ago was it?
We came to Lewes in 1998 when I retired.

What was it like then? A traditional church?
Yes I think it was – it was an ordinary Church of England church preaching the gospel – plenty of activities going on – prayer meetings, two services a day at least, good fellowship, and Bible Study meetings. Yes, there was a lot going on – a good healthy parish church I would say.

It was certainly extremely welcoming when I first went – you were my first welcomer Tony!
Do you remember possibly who was the Vicar or Rector then?
It was Robert Bell. He was there for quite a while – he taught us a lot. It was he who asked me to help there as a lay reader – which I did do.

I know you are Reader  – what was your precise role in the church?
Well, as a Reader you had to be prepared to do more or less anything that was needed for the service – occasionally take it, sometimes preach, sometimes the prayers – a sort of unpaid honorary curate.
But you were just available to do the work for the Minister when required.
It was very interesting. There were also other Readers at that time – there was Alison Swann, and there were others. Yes, it was a good time.

This page was added on 20/01/2018.

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