Diocesan press releases

Memorial Service for Jill Saward in Nefyn

A memorial service to commemorate and give thanks for the life of Jill Saward, who died in January, will be held at 10.30am on Saturday 12 August 2017 at Eglwys Dewi Sant, Ffordd Dewi Sant (Saint David’s Church, Saint David’s Road), Nefyn, Gwynedd, LL53 6HY.

All those who wish to pay tribute to Jill’s life, work and ministry are welcome to attend.

Following the service, Jill’s widower, Gavin Drake, will scatter her ashes in the sea off Nefyn Beach, in accordance with her wishes.

Jill chose Nefyn as her final resting place because of a long-running connection with the town which began in her late teens. She first visited Nefyn as part of the long-running annual beach mission, which she first served as part of the team when she was 18-years-old in 1983. After a decade on the mission, she stepped down from the team but continued to take her annual holidays in the town during the mission fortnight. Her eldest son, Myles, is now a member of the beach mission team.

The people of Nefyn took Jill to their heart after the now-infamous brutal attack in the Ealing Vicarage in March 1986. She visited the town several times a year and was always made welcome by the locals. Her ground-breaking interview with Jenni Murray for the BBC One television programme “Everyman: No Great Trauma” was filmed in the town. “It was in Nefyn that Jill felt that she could be ‘just Jill,” Gavin Drake explained. “She loved the people of Nefyn and they loved her back.”




News media wishing to cover the memorial service are asked to note the following:

Because of the size of the church, a media pool will be required for coverage inside the church. It is anticipated that the pool will include one television camera operator, one stills photographer, and one reporter. In addition, a broadcaster is invited to provide a pooled audio feed for other broadcasters (including the provision of a loud speaker relay outside the church).

Other media will be welcome to film, photograph and report from outside the church in a sensitive way. If space permits, other reporters will be admitted to the church; but priority for space must be given to those who have come to pay their respects.

The scattering of ashes will not be accompanied by any formal liturgy or ceremony. Gavin Drake will enter the sea alone with the ashes for this intimate act. The rest of the family will remain on the beach alongside friends and supporters. Media who wish to record or observe are welcome to do so from Lon y Traeth (Beach Lane) or from the beach itself. Media wishing to operate from the beach are asked to note that the scattering of ashes in anticipated to take place within an hour of high tide.

Gavin Drake will be available for interview in Nefyn, by appointment, on Friday 11 August.

The above picture shows Jill with her husband, Gavin.

The family of Jill Saward have released a selection of photos to the media which are free for editorial use. They can be downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kuu20gkke0uq52j/AAAEDQXSMQO1iRqTbgy8e3M0a?dl=0

For further information, contact Gavin Drake on 07795 570301 and also see http://jsarchive.info and Jill’s obituary in ‘The Guardian’.