A well-loved minister in Bedlington has ‘hung up his preaching scarf’ after over seventy years of service.
Revd Edward Walton, known to almost everyone as Ted, began preaching as a young man in the Church of Christ on Bedlington Front Street, where the Lion Garage is now. As a non-stipendiary minister now connected to Trinity Church, he has decided at the age of 88 to retire.
In 1980, the Church of Christ joined with what had been originally Dall Memorial Presbyterian Church (by then Bedlington United Reformed Church) and Bedlington Methodist Church to form Trinity Church. Ted continued to preach there as well as in many other churches in the area and over the years presided at baptisms, weddings and funerals for countless Bedlington families. He took an active part in the setting up, in 2004, of the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area, which brought together Methodist, United Reformed and Anglican churches across an area from Alnmouth to Seghill.
As well as his service in the church, Ted served the community as a Magistrate and as a member of the Samaritans. In 1992 He was honoured with the MBE for services to the community.
On Sunday May 24th Ted was presented at Trinity Church with a stained glass Trinity symbol and a certificate recognising his enormous contribution to the life of the area, by synod moderator Lis Mullen.
In response Ted said: “I don’t have much time for church labels. When I get to the pearly gates, I don’t think they’ll ask me if I’m Church of Christ or Presbyterian. They’ll ask what kind of person I’ve been.”