Canon David Frost retires

David Frost, right, with Graham Hurley, churchwarden

Sunday, December 27 was Canon David Frost’s last Sunday as team rector of Rye and Rye Harbour, Playden, Iden, Camber and East Guldeford.

At his final service, church warden Graham Hurley (on the left in the picture above) led the tributes to David by reading from his holiday journal when he and his wife Ruth stayed in a holiday cottage in 2011 and attended St Mary’s.

It turned out to be the David’s first service and he recalled that the sermon was “refreshingly illuminating” and over the many sermons he has heard since he has not changed his mind that David “casts many lights on the gospels with scholarship, a wide range of references and humour”.

Graham has observed David’s kindness with baptism families, many unfamiliar with the ways of the Church of England, and seemed to always be able to calm the most fractious baby and show his delight at welcoming a child into the Christian family. David is also always so kind and reassuring with couples who are getting married, delighting in the love of the couple and again so kind and sympathetic with the mourners at funerals.

Teaching before ordination

David taught at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford before his ordination and he was team vicar for Iden and Playden 1990-1994, then vicar of Sidley, Bexhill and rural dean there before coming to Rye in 2010, soon becoming rural dean again, and he was also Mothers’ Union chaplain for the Diocese of Chichester.

Graham said that David can always play the organ at the drop of a hat (in fact he accompanied the singing at a Billy Graham rally) and he has seen him relishing conducting a full church at the annual carol concert. On behalf of the congregation he presented a card, the current equivalent of a cheque, and their best wishes for a happy and fulfilled retirement.

Fiona Gill, Baptist minister of Rye, then spoke on behalf of Churches Together in Rye and District, and thanked David for all his contribution to the churches and said she will miss him. The ministers have had a unique relationship and worked so well together, which is not always the case and she particularly valued that.

Fiona Gill with David Frost

Because the church leaders worked together, the congregations have done so too and the monthly United Services and contribution of members of the churches to the food bank, Street Pastors, Christian Aid week, and the Good Friday Walk of Witness have been a sign of this.

She thanked him for his hospitality in the rectory and presented him with a supply of coffee. She then prayed with him and asked God’s blessing on the next stage of his life in retirement and with his new wife, and then David thanked everyone for the gifts, before speaking about the challenges of being rector of Rye which he has enjoyed, saying that he is not moving far and will be seen around in Rye, although he promises he will not interfere.

Image Credits: Shelley Jebb .


  1. I’m so sorry that Covid kept me away from Rye this year and away from the opportunity to thank David for his kindness over the years and for his wonderful sermons. Many thanks.


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