Brian Griffith’s family seek help from former workers and churchgoers

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Former Kettering minister’s family seek help from former workers and churchgoers from the 1970s

Anyone who regularly attended the United Reformed Church in Kettering in the 1970s will remember church minister Brian Griffith. He came to Kettering from Bristol and was a minister in the London Road church for 11 years. Sadly, in 2018 he died, following a short battle with mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-related disease. His family are now hoping to find people who worked alongside him during his years in the town to try to establish exactly when and how his exposure to asbestos occurred.

The family is represented by Phoebe Osborne, a solicitor here at Ashtons Legal who specialises in mesothelioma injury claims. She comments: “The incidence of asbestos in churches is higher than you might expect. It was often used for soundproofing, for prevention of fire hazards and was also added to acoustical panels for strength. In some churches, it is also found in floor or ceiling tiles, roofing materials, pipe organs, bellows and organ blowers. The most common use, however, is in pipe lagging in heating systems and it is only when the asbestos is disturbed and dust particles enter the air that it becomes potentially lethal.”

Brian’s daughter Karen explains: “Dad told us that the Kettering church had a boiler with asbestos-lagged pipework and that he would go and help the caretaker with boiler maintenance. Presumably, the boiler was also serviced professionally from time to time. We are hoping someone local may be able to help us establish when and why the fatal dust particles entered his lungs to give us closure about why his well-earned retirement was cut short by his illness”.

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive show that asbestos-related diseases currently account for over 5,000 deaths each year in the UK.

Anyone who has information which might assist the family is asked to contact Phoebe Osborne on or 07483928171.

Those in the photo above are Sheila Griffith, Brian Griffith (deceased), Karen Griffith & Mark Griffith (deceased) the two children. 


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