Vicar says farewell to the ‘three Gosbertons’

The Rev Maurice and Ruth Perry say farewell to Gosberton Methodist Church friends (from left, back) Graham Haresign, Michael Lee, Celia Hearth, Irene Illingworth, Lisa Hearth, Belinda Taylor, Jean Tinkler and John Parson. Photo (MIKE DAVISON): SG150712-309MD
The Rev Maurice and Ruth Perry say farewell to Gosberton Methodist Church friends (from left, back) Graham Haresign, Michael Lee, Celia Hearth, Irene Illingworth, Lisa Hearth, Belinda Taylor, Jean Tinkler and John Parson. Photo (MIKE DAVISON): SG150712-309MD
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THE Methodist minister who once mediated in a pitched battle over a house that flouted planning law – the Rev Maurice Perry – has said farewell to the three Gosbertons.

Mr Perry opened Gosberton Methodist Church to 70 migrant workers following a siege in February 2005 that saw the authorities swoop in to demolish a house described as a hacienda where they lived in poor conditions with their gangmaster boss.

Missiles were thrown from the hacienda as the authorities surrounded the house.

Mr Perry said: “I was able to go in and arbitrate and stop what might have been a very difficult if not dangerous situation.”

The drama featured on TV and in the national press.

Migrants remained at the church for about a fortnight until homes were found for them.

Mr Perry said: “We had phone calls of support from all over the country.”

The minister has just had a round of farewells in Gosberton, Gosberton Clough and Gosberton Risegate after spending 11 years on the patch.

Mr Perry said he will very much miss the friends he’s made at the churches.

He will now help out at the Boston Methodist Circuit, looking after Kirton and Swineshead, but he and wife Ruth aim to stay at their home in Whaplode.

Mr Perry remains chaplain to the waterways and recently conducted the traditional Seafarers’ Sunday service at Surfleet 
Reservoir.