'Father Treasure' says farewell to Exmouth
PUBLISHED: 13:14 14 March 2015
A popular priest, dubbed ‘Father Treasure’ by Exeter Road school children, will hold his final service on April 15.
Father Trevor Smyth has been vicar of All Saints Church, Exeter Road, for over 14 years.
Now the town is set to lose him to a parish in East Sussex.
For 45 years, Fr Trevor, 69, the son of a former Church of England priest, has dedicated his life to the church.
In that time, he has earned a deserved reputation for being extraordinarily hard working.
Every week, he holds eight services and a daily mass on top of 100 funerals a year, baptisms and weddings.
And, as chaplain of the Royal British Legion, he conducts their annual service.
Exeter Road Primary School and the All Saints Church hall pre-school are also part of his remit, where he is known as ‘Father Treasure’.
He even does house calls, visiting parishioners with problems, as well as taking communions to the sick.
Parishioner Graham Martin said: “Someone said to me if you are feeling a bit down and you meet Fr Trevor in the town, you are immediately uplifted by the beacon of faith that his beaming face portrays.
“Fr Trevor joins some of the great Church of England priests who have faithfully served Exmouth during the last 40 years, including the late Fr John Benton, the late Fr Ken Middleton and Fr Tony Oswin.
“We all thank Fr Trevor for his dedicated ministry and send good wishes, knowing that he will make a great impact in his new parish.”
Later this year, when Fr Trevor reaches 70, he would ordinarily have to retire - unless he takes on a part-time ‘House for Duty’ role.
Fr Smyth said: “I have had a wonderful time in Exmouth - I have really enjoyed it.
“It was here I met my late wife, Barbara.
“I will miss Exmouth, the people, the congregation, walking along the seafront, getting involved with all the local organisations and the parish life.
“But if I stayed, I’d have to retire and I’m not ready to do that yet.”
Fr Trevor’s final service – a Sung Eucharist – will be on Wednesday, April 15, at 7pm, when the preacher will be Bishop Richard Hawkins, whose own late father was a priest at the church in the 1940s and early 1950s.