Col. Jeremy Dumas OBE was the founder and original Chairman of the Friends of West Mersea Parish Church. It was his inspiration and drive which laid the foundations for the success of The Friends – an organisation which has not only raised a considerable sum of money which has funded several projects for the maintenance of the church building but which has also brought a greater awareness and appreciation of this ancient monument and enhanced the use of the church for social and cultural events amongst the wider community.
After a long and distinguished career in The Army, he retired in 1997 to the house in West Mersea on the Essex coast which he and his wife Lizzie had acquired some years before. He soon threw himself into community life. He began working for the West Mersea Lifeboat in 2002 and in 2007 took over management of the Station. He also became a Church Warden overseeing the fabric of our ancient parish church. Finding no money for repairs he initiated an appeal, and then set up the Friends of West Mersea Parish Church, a group dedicated to ensuring a constant trickle of money for maintenance.
He sadly died on 22 February 2015, aged 72, courteous and modest to the end. The packed church at his funeral was testament to the loss which has been felt by his friends and his local community. He is survived by Lizzie and their three children, Richard, Leafy and Emily, and by four grandchildren.