The Reverend Richard Coles is set to move into a quaint £950,000 cottage in a Sussex village

It is the picturesque English country house where the famous vicar Richard Coles will start a new life.

The former Strictly star, BBC presenter and former pop musician announced this week that he is retiring from the Church to start a new life near the South Coast.

And MailOnline can reveal it’s up to this stunning £950,000 flint cottage in a fashionable Sussex village to be close to his friend and former manager.

In a long and thoughtful explanation of his decision to retire, the 60-year-old said he hadn’t thought of leaving his congregation in Northamptonshire, which he has served for the past ten years, until until he realized he had to move on from the death of her husband David.

Coles lost his civil partner and fellow pastor David in December 2019. He died aged 42 following a long battle with alcohol in December 2019 and has reportedly become even closer to his former manager Lorna Gradden since.

Gradden suggested she use the pension pot she had encouraged him to start years earlier to move closer to home in a pretty Sussex village near Beachy Head.

Lorna Gradden suggested he use the pension pot she had encouraged him to start years earlier to move closer to home in a pretty Sussex village near Beachy Head

Richard Coles (pictured) lost his civil partner and fellow pastor David in December 2019. Coles wrote in The Sunday Times:

Richard Coles (pictured) lost his civil partner and fellow pastor David in December 2019. Coles wrote in The Sunday Times: ‘In May I start a new life in what looks like Tilling from the Mapp and Lucia novels’

He has reportedly spent time with her in Sussex since then and Lorna accompanied him home to Finedon Rectory after David’s funeral when, in his words, grief flowed from him ‘like lava’. Soon the couple will live in the same village.

He wrote in the Sunday Times: “The former manager [Lorna Gradden] came back to the rescue, offering to move me to the village where she lives, to a house at the end of her road that had just been put up for sale.

‘And so on Low Sunday [24th April]the first after the high and holy feast of Easter, I retire.

‘In May I start a new life in what looks like Tilling from the Mapp and Lucia novels.

“I will live in a charming 18th century cottage with a bow window that overlooks the street and offers a privileged view of the comings and goings of my neighbors, while the scent of lavender floats on the village lawn.

Nestled in a valley in the South Downs National Park, her new home is in an archetypical English village.  He told the Sunday Times:

Nestled in a valley in the South Downs National Park, her new home is in an archetypical English village. He told the Sunday Times: ‘I will be living in a lovely 18th century cottage with a bow window that overlooks the street’

With the South Downs Way walking path passing his new front door, plenty of village fetes, art competitions and musical events to attend, the retired Reverend Coles will have plenty to keep busy.

With the South Downs Way walking path passing his new front door, plenty of village fetes, art competitions and musical events to attend, the retired Reverend Coles will have plenty to keep busy.

Nestled in a valley in the South Downs National Park, her new home is in an archetypical English village.

A popular and lively pub, takes pride of place in the roughly out of place village square, where children and pet dogs roll around on the grass.

A high-class delicatessen competes with a nearby Waitrose supermarket to supply groceries to well-fed residents.

A popular and lively pub, takes pride of place in the roughly displaced green village square, where children and pet dogs roll around on the grass

A popular and lively pub, takes pride of place in the roughly displaced green village square, where children and pet dogs roll around on the grass

Gradden suggested Coles use the pension pot she encouraged him to start years earlier to move close to her home in a pretty Sussex village near Beachy Head (file photo)

Gradden suggested Coles use the pension pot she encouraged him to start years earlier to move close to her home in a pretty Sussex village near Beachy Head (file photo)

Famous artist Grayson Perry lives nearby, as does Bafta-winning actress Gina McKee.

Today, as builders put the finishing touches on the revamp of the Reverend’s new home, villagers hailed the impending arrival of the broadcaster.

One told MailOnline: ‘Richard Coles is moving in, but not yet. I saw him around the corner. He seems like a terribly nice guy. He will be welcome.

Former Communard Coles (pictured with Jimmy Somerville in 1985) says despite all the benefits of his new home, he will miss his old life

Former Communard Coles (pictured with Jimmy Somerville in 1985) says despite all the benefits of his new home, he will miss his old life

Richard Coles at a dress rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing in 2017. Today, as builders put the finishing touches on the refurbishment of the Reverend's new home, villagers hailed the broadcaster's imminent arrival.

Richard Coles at a dress rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing in 2017. Today, as builders put the finishing touches on the refurbishment of the Reverend’s new home, villagers hailed the broadcaster’s imminent arrival.

Another added: “Yeah I heard Richard Coles is moving here.” But I’m not interested in village gossip. You better talk to my wife.

The former Communard, who had an 80s number one hit with Don’t Leave Me This Way, says that despite all the benefits of his new home, he will miss his old life.

He writes: “After Easter, I will no longer be curate. I will leave the parsonage and the parish and go south, to a pretty little English village between the Downs and the sea, with a farmer and an old church, an old bakery, a village green, where the inhabitants gather around a pint of locally brewed beer to reminisce about their Baftas.

“It’s beautiful, and I’m lucky, but the move is not without concern.

“Not so much about where I’m going – there’s a bus every ten minutes with free WIFI that stops outside Waitrose – but about what I’m leaving behind.”

However, with the South Downs Way walking path passing his new front door, plenty of village fetes, art competitions and musical events to attend, the retired Reverend Coles will have plenty to keep busy.

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