Sue Bull – a special lady. An obituary.
Susan Helen Bull (Sue) was born in January 1958 in Dorset but her family moved back to Berkshire in
the mid-1960s. Born into a farming community she and her older brother were the first in the family
to go to university and Sue graduated in Economics from London University. She worked at
Eversheds in the City of London as a Company Secretary and then moved to Epsom in 1982.
She was an active member of Christ Church (Epsom) for many years, becoming a very successful
churchwarden, which led to a calling to ordained ministry. She was appointed Curate at St Barnabas
Church in 1998 and continued to have a close association with the parish in her later work as a
chaplain at both Surrey and Borders NHS Trust and Epsom and St Hellier NHS Trust. For several years
she continued to lead St Barnabas Church on a voluntary basis while the church appointed a new
vicar, leading worship and facilitating the church’s wider links to the local community.
As a mental health chaplain, she saw the pain and lack of community support for the people
discharged from mental hospitals and for people suffering from mental ill-health generally. A
lifetime calling started, first founding the Monday drop-in in collaboration with St Barnabas Church,
later founding the Love Me Love My Mind charity in 2008 and acting as Chair until her death in
December 2022. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and is funded by grants and donations; it
aims to break down stigma and inspire understanding about mental health.
At a time when very few spoke about mental health, Sue championed this cause, building a strong
community in the Monday drop-in and raising awareness through the Epsom Mental Health and
Wellbeing Festival. This annual event went from being a table in Epsom marketplace handing out
leaflets, to a full week of activities with high-profile expert speakers. As it grew, Sue organised the
festival in collaboration with other charities in Epsom and ran it with an army of volunteers. She was
always an extremely competent, professional but unassuming leader. Sue had a flair for building
connections. She was totally inclusive and developed an extensive network across every sector in
our local community as well as nationally. The festival has been recognised nationally as a unique
community engagement model, visited by NHS England and serving as a model for other areas.
Sue was an intellectual with a clear purpose. She studied Theology in Switzerland, gained a Masters
in Theology from Dublin and was in the process of writing a PhD thesis about mental health and the
Church. Her compassionate, deep spirituality was recognised when she became a chaplain for
Westminster Abbey in 2018 and was part of the official prayer support for the late Queen’s funeral.
Sue’s loving, calm and self-effacing exterior hid a rooted commitment, strong sense of justice and
steely determination for her calling, which at times could make her (as she would humorously say
with a twinkle) ‘more than a little awkward’ for the benefit of others.
Sue did not have children, but through her calling became a supporting mother figure to many. She
leaves behind two grieving families – her natural and acquired one.
Epsom has lost a very special lady.
You can find out much more about the Charity Sue inspired on the website linked here: Love Me Love My Mind