The Revd Charles John Sutherland: 1931-2020
'Charlie was a man of deep faith, always ready to talk, listen and help anyone wherever he went'
The Revd Charles John Sutherland passed away peacefully on 14 June. Born in 1931, he lived in the village of Culcabock, now part of Inverness. His father was a cobbler and the family were very much working class. He left school at 15 and served his apprenticeship as a carpenter and joiner at Mackenzies of Celt Street, Inverness.
After a call to the ministry, he was accepted into Rawdon College. As he took his first pastorate at Chequer Rd Doncaster, he married Vera Leadbeater. Their son, Andrew, was born in 1963, and a year later the family moved to Darlington, where sadly, Vera died of cancer. Charlie married Christine Gay, a Baptist minister’s daughter, in 1967, and their son Iain was born in1969. Two years later a call came to the pastorate of the newly rebuilt church at Osmaston Rd, Derby. The family was completed when Graeme was born in 1972. Charlie moved to his final pastorate in Devizes in 1980. He retired in 1996 and he and Christine continued to live in Devizes.
Wherever he was, Charlie took a keen interest in the ecumenical movement, beginning his involvement in Darlington and continuing this throughout his ministry. Charlie was one of the first students of the Open University, gaining a B.A. degree, later gaining an M.Th from Cardiff University.
R.A.F. Finningley, near Doncaster was the first of several Chaplaincies. In Derby he was Chaplain at Pastures Psychiatric Hospital, in Devizes a similar hospital in Green Lane, and also served eight years as Chaplain to the Wiltshire Fire Service.
His main hobby was beekeeping. He enjoyed this very much, taking some qualifications and teaching at a local college. Over the years he put his woodworking to good use, both in the home and elsewhere. He taught himself wood turning and used this to raise a considerable amount for charity. After the fall of Ceausescu, he took part in three trips to Romania with aid for people and help for the fire service.
Charlie was a man of deep faith, always ready to talk, listen and help anyone wherever he went. He had a keen sense of humour. He will be very much missed by his brother James in Inverness, Christine and the three sons, also daughters-in-law Penny, Elen and Cheryl, grandchildren Hannah, Imogen, Dafydd. William, Anna and Nicola and great grandchildren Harry and Poppy.