‘Inspirational’ Hartlepool civic chaplain Val Towler set to retire

Rev Val Towler with Carl Richardson (right) and Stephen Akers-Belcher
Rev Val Towler with Carl Richardson (right) and Stephen Akers-Belcher

A MINISTER who was Hartlepool Council’s civic chaplain will retire next month.

Rev Val Towler - also Minister at St George’s United Reformed Church since 2001 – has been in the role for the last 11 years.

She has worked with former Council Chairman Councillor Carl Richardson and, more recently, with 2012/13 Chairman and Ceremonial Mayor Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher.

Her duties have included officiating at the annual Remembrance Sunday parade and service in Victory Square, the Service of Remembrance at the military cemetery in the town’s Stranton Cemetery, the town’s Armed Forces parade and the Workers’ Memorial Day service.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “Val has been inspirational during her years as Civic Chaplain. It amazes me how you could have a room full of people and everyone would be enthralled by Val.

“That is a real gift.

“She will be a big miss and she will be a hard act to follow for whoever takes over.”

Rev Towler said: “It is a great honour to have been Civic Chaplain for so long and it has been a pleasure working with Stephen and Carl - I have got on really well with both of them.”

Her last service will be on Easter Sunday.