Tributes after Leicester Cathedral canon Mary Lawson and husband found dead together

09 June 2017

CREATIVE COMMONS

Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former head teacher and lay canon of Leicester Cathedral, who died alongside her husband.

Mary Lawson, aged 63, was found dead over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in the detached house she shared with her husband, Sean, in Rugby, Warwickshire. Police have confirmed that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths, and they are not looking for anyone in connection with them.

A spokeswoman for the Leicester diocese, where Mrs Lawson was director of education between 2010 and 2014, said: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the deaths.

“Mrs Lawson led the diocesan board of education through many significant changes which impacted diocesan schools, including the creation of the multi-academy trust, the Diocese of Leicester Academies Trust.” She said that Mrs Lawson had recently suffered from ill health after a stroke in 2015.

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said: “Mary made a very significant contribution to the work of the Church across the diocese. I am shocked and deeply saddened by this news, and my thoughts and prayers are with Mary and Sean’s colleagues, family, and friends.”

A former pupil of Mrs Lawson when she was head teacher of All Saints’ Primary School, Leicester, Zoë Jean Galloway, wrote on Facebook: “She was such an amazing, lovely, caring lady. I have so many great memories with her.”

After leaving the diocese, Mrs Lawson was appointed head teacher at Leicester’s first Hindu school, Krishna Avanti, in Evington, but had to step down after her stroke. Her husband Sean, aged 50, was head of Rugby Borough Council’s environment and public-realm department.

Police discovered their bodies in the early hours of Sunday 28 May, after neighbours became concerned.

One neighbour told the Leicester Mercury that Mr Lawson was well known for his work with the council, and “was a pillar of the community”. He said: “It’s tragic, because they seemed like a really nice couple” The paper also quoted a family friend who said: “I don’t think they could bear to be without each other, but Mary’s illness had really took a strain on them.”

Another neighbour, said: “They were a lovely couple, and very popular with everyone around here. They both did very good work for their community, and will be missed very much. It is a real tragedy.”

Detective Inspector Matthew Pyatt, of Warwickshire Police, said: “We are not treating the incident as suspicious. The incident was contained to the property, and we’re not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths. The case will be handed over to the coroner.”

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
With Sam Wells, Catherine Fox, Mark Oakley, Suzannah Lipscomb and many others. 
See the full programme

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)