FR JEREMY LEAR, a wellknown and popular priest of the Arundel and Brighton diocese. has been tragically killed in a ear accident in Peru, at the age of 35.
Fr Lear. a former secretary to Bishop Cormac MurphyO'Connor, died when the car he was travelling in went off the road.
Another priest. a Peruvian, was also killed. and the other two occupants of the car, also Peruvian priests, were injured. The accident took place on March 21.
Bishop Murphy-O'Connor flew to Chulucanas. Peru. for Fr Lear's funeral last Saturday. Since 1982, Fr Lear had served with the Fries Missionary Team supported by the Arundel and Brighton diocese, Two members of Fr Lear's family also attended his funeral Before he left, the bishop issued a statement in which he expressed "a very personal sense of sadness and loss at Fr Jeremy's death."
"He was a marvellous priest, gentle and kind, yet with a firmness of faith that made him a most attractive personality. He loved his life as a priest. lived it to the full. but was never happier than when living and serving among the poorest of the poor in the diocese of Chulucanas in Peru," said the bishop.
"I mourn a good friend and a most exemplary priest. and the whole of my diocese will feel a deep sense of eadness and loss at his death" he said.
Jeremy Lear was born in Beckenham, Kent, on July 23. 1948.
. He trained for the presthood at St Allan's. Valladolid. Spain. and was ordained at St Philip's, Ucktield in 1973.
After five years as assistant priest at Leatherhead. he became, in 1978, secretary to Bishop Cormac MurphyO'Connor, a post he held for four years.
He accompanied Bishop Murphy-O'Connor on the bishop's first visit to Peru, and wes the first secular priest from the Arundel diocese to volunteer to work there.