The Reverend Jeremy Sampson

The Reverend Jeremy Sampson


(from The Church Times Obits)


On 11 July, the Revd Jeremy John Egerton Sampson: Vicar of North Perak, Malaya (1951-52); Priest-in-Charge of Johore Bahru (1952-57); Vicar of St John the Divine, Ipoh (1957-62); Killingworth (1962-76); Consett (1976-90); Rural Dean of Lanchester (1980-85); aged 89.


It was with a mixture of sadness and gratitude that I learnt about Jeremy’s death this week. Jeremy was my first Vicar or training incumbent when I was ordained to a title in the Durham Diocese in 1985. A wise and very modest man Jeremy and his wife Rosemary were a solid team – dependable, un-stuffy, straightforward and steady. He was thoughtful and grounded in the Anglican tradition with forty years of parish experience both here and abroad.

He taught me the bedrock value of the daily office and care over every Baptism, Marriage and Funeral. He was practical and avoided the extremes of Anglican piety – he had a way of smiling at some of the irrelevance of much of modern Church life. His Parish Councils meetings were slow but collaborative – he took care to ensure that all voices were heard. He had an eye for detail and showed his curates how to run a parish with a minimum of fuss or anxiety!

He took a lead when the Steel works closed down and ensured that the Churches voice was heard in the efforts to build up and reconstruct community after the closure and its devastating effects on families. He was a bridge builder bringing all kinds of people together. The parish admired and respected him – he became well know as he waked the dog and made his visits across the community. Folks found in him a trusted pastor.

He was patient with this young curate and I was glad he made considerable efforts to  come to my installation in Windsor in 2009 – he had himself been a curate to the young Robin Woods who was himself to become the Dean of Windsor in the 1960’s. The best advice he ever gave me was this : ‘make sure that every sermon has good news’!

A kind and good man and a faithful servant of the Church. My life has been all the better for my working with and learning from his example.

One thought on “The Reverend Jeremy Sampson

  1. I searched online some years ago to find out anything about Rev. Sampson without success. I did this because he taught me the need to accept people for what they are. I was a choirboy at Killingworth Church in the early 60’s. Shortly after my confirmation, I decided that I had no idea about what religion was all about. I never understood what a god was and since then, I don’t think I have ever had a religious thought in my life. I now describe myself as a radical humanist.

    I have vivid recollections of “Mr Sampson”, as I called him, taking me on walks through the wilds of Northumberland. Sometimes his son came along. I could talk to him in a way that I could never talk to my parents, or indeed any other adult. We rarely spoke about religion and I never got the “hard sell” that other clerics were fond of using at the time. I can’t really remember any details of what we discussed, but talking did me a lot of good.

    The last time I saw “Mr Sampson” was when he visited my family at home. He mentioned that I’d stopped going to St Johns. I answered that I’d been digging the garden. I never missed the Church, but I think I missed him very much.

    The act of spending time with someone, talking, listening and discussing, is the most healing thing that one human can do with another. I may not have learned religion from Jeremy, but I got my first experience of what we humans really need.

    If I should be wrong and there is a Heaven, Jeremy will be there.

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