Canon Martin Onions, the Rector of Uckfield, passed away this morning after suffering a heart attack last night.
Canon Onions joined the Uckfield ministry last spring.
Born in Bridgnorth, Shropshire in 1963 he lived in Shrewsbury and was educated at the Priory Grammar School.
He had told the Sussex Express, “I found I didn’t relate to it terribly well so left school at 16. I joined the Kenning Motor Group and was apprenticed for four years, training to be an HGV mechanic.”
He went on, “At the age of 17 I had a particular experience of God’s grace which inspired me to explore what God was asking of me. At the same time a member of our congregation spoke to me about ordination. At the end of my apprenticeship I moved down to Sussex, working in the parish of St Dunstan’s, Mayfield and earning some money as a house parent at Chailey Heritage. This is when I met Gill, my wife.”
The couple married at St Dunstan’s in 1987 when he went through the church’s selection process and was accepted, training at Chichester before being ordained deacon in 1988 and serving at Eastbourne Parish Church.
He was ordained priest the following year and completed his theology MA in 2002.
Father Martins served at Findon, Eastbourne and Willingdon, as a Bishop’s Adviser for Minister from 2009 and was made a Canon of Chichester Cathedral and Prebend of Sidlesham in 2012.
Father Martin and Gill have four sons and two granddaughters.
His induction into the Uckfield church was in June, 2013.
Friends have expressed their shock and sadness at his death.
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