Created 17h March 2003

The Clergy

1972-1976 Revd Edward Ruskin
1977 Revd William Hockley
Also 1977 Revd David Cowper
1977-1989 Revd Donald Hinton
1982 - Rev Bill Jeffries (curate)
1990-1991 Tony Charlton (curate)
1991-1993 Revd Jackson
1994 Revd Richards
1995-1996 Revd Burns

1996- Revd Ashley Thomas

The following is based on a profile in the book "The Emmerdale Family Album" (by Michael Heatly and Published by Boxtree Paperback - 30 June, 1995 ):-


Far Left William ltockley came to St Mary's fiom AJkica, but didn't long.

Left The Rev. Edward Ruskin and bis u:zJb, Liz, made Beckindale their borne in the early Seventies.

In the space of a couple of years he buried not only Jacob, Annie's husband, but her daughter Peggy and grandchildren Sam and Sally.
Ex-missionary William Hocldey became the next vicar in 1977, and was often to be seen about the village on his bicycle - a habit he may perhaps have picked up in Africa, his last port of call while spreading the Christian gospel. The Reverend David Cowper succeeded him later that same year, but his stay was also to be a brief one. Stability returned to the parish of Emmerdale and Derndale with the appointment of Donald Hinton, who served from

Far Left Drvid Couer -a short-lived 1977 appointment to tte Beckindale parisla.

Right The Rev. Donald Hinton pictured in pensive mood, with troublesome son, Clive.

Far Right Bob Jerome was sometimes seen at St Mary's as Donald Hinton's deputy.


Although much appreciated by his parishioners, he enjoyed uneasy relationships with both son Clive (who, after visiting his father in 1978, was arrested in Athens for gun-running), and daughter Barbara who, having left her husband Brian in London in 1983, took a job as Alan Turuer's secretary at NY Estates. She was more or less pushed into a relationship with Joe Sugden after her father, who'd disclosed her'whereabouts to Brian, turned her out when no reconciliation was forthcoming.
As churchwarden Annie was not best pleased, and in the end Joe was offered a welcome escape route from the gossip-mongers with promotion to a position in France; Barbara declined to go with him. Instead she returned to London to start a new life in 1983, sparing her father's feelings by saying she'd gone back to Brian.

over the years: Dolly Acaster, when she was turned out of the Woolpack by Amos, Pat Harker, and later, at the request of the police, her arsonist son Jackie. The position of parish priest in Emmerdale is just as important to the community as the Woolpack landlord. Indeed, and Hinton was not averse to visiting the hostelry as part of his pastoral duties!
Donald Hinton's infrequent absences were covered by the Reverend Bob Jerome or,

occasionally, by the returning Edward Ruskin. The Reverend Bill Jeffries was appointed as assistant minister in 1982, but differences of opinion ensured his stay was a short one. Though Hinton became rural dean that year, he refused an appointment as Archdeacon, seeing it as a political appointment that would take him away from his parishioners.
In 1986 came excitement when Hinton was briefly held hostage at gunpoint by Derek Warner, an associate of pig farmer Harry Mowlam, after it was discovered the two had fallen out over the proceeds from an armed robbery. Mowlam was murdered, but happily Hinton escaped unharmed. In quieter moments, he took solace in his collection of books and butterflies.
The marriage of Joe Sugden and Kate Hughes in April 1989 was to be one of Donald Hinton's last official duties before he retired to Coventry that August. He returned in late 1993 for the marriage of Annie Sugden and Leonard Kempinski, attending as a guest but forced to officiate when the presiding minister contracted laryngitis.
Since Hinton's departure, Tony Charlton has been his only permanent replacement. He made his first appearance in August 1990 when he entered the Woolpack to use the telephone after discovering he'd lost his new house keys! A modern churchman, he was often seen without his dog-collar and was very interested in the young folk of Emmerdale.
Before entering the church, Tony Charlton had taught English Literature at a High School in Dalston, London, and was a voluntary worker at an inner-city youth centre. He started a three-year theology course and was ordained in June 1990. Tony's first post as curate was with Hotten Parish Council, who leased


Far left Tony Charlton was undoubtedly Beckindale's dishiest vicar, but fell for the unavailable Kathy Merrick.

Left Bill JefJ?ies' laid-back style was one which his senior minister, Rev. Hinton, found difficult to accommodate and resulted in the former's swift departure from the parish.

Sadly, one oI Bis Ilrst
bury Pete Whiteley. Having visited Kate Sugden (the Kathy Merrick, Charlton left for London, realzmg
driver who hit Whiteley) in prison, he later there was no future in the romance.

28th April 1983 HOTTEN COURIER Features

Right During the Eighties, Donald Hinton occasionally ventured into print in the pages of the

It's now six years since I was asked whether I would like to move to Beckindale: at the time I was unsure whether I would enjoy the peace and stability of a small village parish after the hurly-burly of the city. I imagined that I would no longer be involved in issues of great importance, but how wrong I was.

In a thriving community l;e Beckindale life is never dull. I have found myself involved in a wide variety of activities very different perhaps from those affecting an urban priest. When I was studying at theological college nobody warned me that part of my function as a parson would be to organize dog races, horticultural shows or lead the parish's bid to win the best kept village in the Dales competition! Equally, 1 had no idea of the passions and rivalry engendered on such occasions: it is very much a part of a vicar's duty to direct these strongly-felt passions along Christian paths and to represent the Christian ethic even to those who do not even nominally call themselves Christians.
The village of Emmerdale is one of the most beautiful in all the Dales and the Church of St Mary's is surely the jewel in its crown: but I am sad to report that the main roof of the Church has major structural problems which, according to our surveyors, will probably cost in the region of£5,000. It is a building in which all the village take pride and it's not just the worshippers who make use of it -almost all non-churchgoers still find themselves in church for christenings, weddings and funerals. I would like all the people of Beckindale to be aware of their responsibilities to our church in this our time of need.
Reverend Donald Hinton


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