CAPTION: Judith Feltham helped thousands of clergy and churchwardens with property issues

Remembering a “Kind and Thoughtful” Woman Who Put People at the Heart of Exeter Diocese Property Department

Posted: 5th October, 2021

Judith Feltham worked for the Diocese of Exeter central services team for more than 35 years, starting at the diocesan offices in 1986, at a time before it even had computers.

She worked mainly in the Property department and was a key member of staff in the clergy housing and glebe team.

The Property Director, Graham Davies, said “For many, Judith was the first point of contact for calls in to the department and she certainly must have sorted property issues for thousands of priests and churchwardens over the years.

“Judith knew in her heart that the people in the houses were way more important than the buildings themselves”

“Typically understated, Judith worked immensely hard, retained information second-to-none and would always want to serve and assist.

Judith Feltham (2nd from left at back) with other colleagues, circa 1996

“I worked with Judith for the last 18 years and have been immensely grateful for her competence and commitment to the work of the diocese.

Her former colleague Bob Greig, said “I worked with Judith in the decade or so when we moved from a property team of two to one where professional surveying skills were brought in-house.

“Much could be said of Judith’s accuracy, her commitment, her loyalty. As my closest colleague though, the thing that stands out for me is that Judith knew – in her heart – that the people in the houses were way more important than the buildings themselves.

“That value was and will continue to be embedded into the work of the Exeter Diocesan Property Department.

Judith had trained as a bi-lingual secretary before coming to work at Exeter Diocese and was fluent in Spanish.

According to Graham Davies “She was truly humble, kind and thoughtful.

“She was the one in the team who organized the birthday cards for team members and somehow sourced cards that were funny and highly appropriate.

“But the quality that stands out more than any was Judith’s deep and genuine interest in the lives of other people. This was a real gift and made those she engaged with feel listened to and valued.

“It is no coincidence that Judith had many good, close friends and was a highly respected and much-loved work colleague who we will miss greatly.”

Stephen Hancock, Exeter Diocesan Secretary, said “I only had the pleasure of working with Judith for four years, but she was a key part of our diocesan team, a source of vast ‘corporate memory’, and a great friend to so many.

“Judith was a great example of a lay colleague providing her own ministry through service to others, and she lived out her calling in a way that is an example to us all.”

Judith was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and despite undergoing treatment, carried on working until her retirement in 2020.

Even when she ceased to be a paid member of staff, she continued to work as a volunteer in the property department two days a week, until her death in September, something Graham Davies says exemplified the kind of person she was.

For those who wish to share their condolences, there is an online tribute page to Judith.