The much-loved vicar of Delaval Parish has retired after eight and a half years of dedicated service in the community and neighbouring parishes of Seaton Valley.
Revd. David Bowler has been a central part of the community as the Vicar for the Parish of Delaval. The parish includes the churches of St. Paul’s in Seaton Sluice, St. Michael’s in New Hartley and the Church of our Lady in the hamlet of Seaton.
David was ordained in 2008 and started his service with the church at St. Nicholas in Cramlington. He was subsequently appointed as the NHS Chaplain at Northgate and St. George’s in Morpeth before eventually moving to Seaton Valley as the Vicar for Delaval Parish.
During his time as the Parish Vicar, he has presided over hundreds of christenings, weddings and funerals as well as many Sunday services.
Some of David’s memorable moments were when everyone came together to commemorate the end of hostilities in World War I, and the community gathered at the lighting of the Beacon to remember all the brave who died or were injured during the war.
David also thanked everyone for their support during the restoration work at the Church of our Lady. Over £500,000 was raised through grants for the work. David thanked Historic England, the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall and Lord Hastings for their support.
He also enjoyed the annual switching on of the Christmas Lights and especially seeing the children joining in with the festive fun and singing carols.
David said: “The people in Seaton Valley are lovely. I have enjoyed my time as the Parish Vicar serving the communities of New Hartley and Seaton Sluice and I will miss everyone.
“I have felt so humbled seeing the coming together of people to help others, especially through the hard times of the Covid pandemic.”
Revd Bowler’s final Sunday services were at St. Michael’s followed by St. Paul’s on 15 August.
He was also proud to perform the baptism of his Grandson, at the Church of our Lady, on the 22 August before he formally retired.
David is originally from London and has lived in various places before settling in Northumberland. He plans to spend his retirement in Newbiggin.
The council presented David with a framed picture of Seaton Sluice Harbour to mark his retirement. The picture was presented by Cllr. Susan Dungworth, Chair of the Council and Councillor for Harley Ward.
Cllr. Dungworth said: “It has been great working with David over the years. He has brought the community together and will be missed by the residents in New Hartley, Seaton Sluice and throughout Seaton Valley.
“On behalf of Seaton Valley Council and all of the residents, I wish David a long and happy retirement.”