NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 22, 2013

Stepping down from the pulpit

Seabrook pastor retires -- for the third time

SEABROOK — When Bill Beddie steps down to retire from the pulpit at Trinity United Church at the end of the month, what he’ll miss the most isn’t preaching in the historic and graceful 175-year old meeting house, or the sight of its spire beautifully illuminated against the night sky.

“The people. What I’ll miss the most is the people of Seabrook,” Beddie said. “I fell in love with the folks here. They say it as they see it, and they wear their hearts on their sleeves. And they’ve allowed me to be woven into the fabric of their community.”

The feeling is mutual, according to many at Trinity United Church, who have come to know the Reverend Doctor William Beddie simply as “Pastor Bill” since he came out of retirement for the second time to lead the congregation three years ago.

According to church clerk Sandy Brown, if she had to pick one word to describe Beddie it would be “approachable.”

“People know they can come to him about anything,” Brown said. “They appreciate that.”

Beddie will preach his last sermon as pastor at Sunday service on June 30, with a potluck dinner to follow cooked for him by the very people he’s come to treasure. It’s that personal touch that means so much to him, and the potluck dinner won’t be the first time he’s enjoyed goodies made for him.

“Oh, it happens all the time,” Beddie said last week, putting out a batch of cookies left for him by a parishioner.

At 73 years old, Beddie is making his third attempt to retire to his Newfields home with his wife of 24 years, Cynthia. First on the calendar is a trip with her to Italy, then golf and time with family and friends.

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