Inspirational church leader murdered in Plymouth, England
53 year-old Hazel Huggins, a member of the leadership team at Hope Church in Dawlish was found dead over the weekend.
Police rushed to the scene following reports of concern for the welfare of a woman on the 29th of July. They forced entry to the address and carried out emergency first aid, but Hazel was confirmed deceased at the scene. The accused, Bradley Huggins, appeared at Plymouth Crown Court on Monday morning. He is due to appear for a plea and trial preparation hearing in August. A trial date has been set for January 2024.
According to the locals, Hazel Huggins made an tremendous contribution, not just in the church, but in the town’s extensive community. They described the loss as “heart-breaking”.
Hope Church Dawlish released a statement: “The church has been devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of a much-loved member of the congregation. Tributes were paid to Hazel on Sunday reflecting her enormous contribution to the church and wider community. We are supporting her family during this heart-breaking time and would ask that they are left in peace as they attempt to deal with their grief.”
Hazel and her husband Guy, led the ministry Pastors’ Pad – providing respite and care to Christian leaders in front-line ministry across the UK. She also volunteered for the community engagement charity Redeeming Our Communities (ROC), providing support in local schools.
ROC Dawlish Co-ordinator and Hope Church leader Mark Jones described Hazel as an “inspirational leader”, saying she “brought light and hope to all. Her witness, example and memory will inspire a generation to follow Jesus whatever the cost”.
According to Debra Green ROC’s Executive Director: “There’s just been an outpouring of love and prayers from across the UK, when tragic things happen this is where we see the church at its best. But I just wanted to be one of those just to say her life did count. She made such a wonderful difference to all the lives that she was connected to. But our hearts today go out to the community of Dawlish, to the Hope Church community, and especially to her husband and to her family and friends.”
Hope Church organised a tribute service to Hazel at 7pm on Tuesday the 1st of August.