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Bishop of Sherborne remembers "extraordinary" vicar found dead on Dorset beach

The Bishop of Sherborne has described a vicar who was found washed up on a Dorset beach as an "extraordinary" priest. 

Fifty nine-year-old Bob Thorn, the Rector of the Bride Valley Benefice, which covered eight churches, was found on Seatown beach along with his Bible on Monday.

The discovery of his body was made after a major search was launched on Sunday night after his unoccupied boat was washed ashore.

Dorset Police said they weren't treating the death as suspicious but were conducting inquiries on behalf of the Coroner, however, it's believed locally that Revd Thorn drowned.

The married father of four had been on a three month sabbatical, which saw him row his wooden boat across parts of the South coast, starting from his home in Dorset to Cornwall on a religious pilgrimage.

It's understood Revd Thorn had spent several days rowing to visit his mother's former house in Portscatho and was found at Burton Bradstock, five miles from where he set off.

Rt Revd Graham Kings - Bishop of Sherborne told Premier's News Hour the vicar was passionate about his faith.

Rev Thorn Born was born in Portscatho, becoming the vicar for the parish of Feock for five years before moving to the Midlands in the late 1980s, eventually taking up residence in Bride Valley Benefice.

Speaking to a local newspaper Robert Nicholas, Rev Thorn's second cousin, said: "He had a hugely strong will and was hugely popular. He was the type of vicar that is sadly lacking today. He was a very likable man.

"He was one of those vicars that could shoot from the hip, he didn't have to have any notes he could just do a sermon, it came naturally to him.

"He had an adventurous streak in him, he wasn't the sort to just sit in his chair with a pipe."

Last year Revd Thorn published a book about a walking pilgrimage he made to Lindisfarne.

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