Vicar will hold his last service after 25 years

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A vicar will hold his last service at St Peter’s Church in Stanley this Sunday after serving his community for almost a quarter of a century.

Rev Bill Henderson, 65, says he will miss the people of the village more than anything.

He said: “In 24 years you build up significant relationships. We won’t lose touch but it will be different moving out of the parish and being further away. I think having been here so long we are known and we will miss that.” Rev Henderson decided to change his career while working as a civil engineer in East Africa.

He said: “In Africa the church is seen at forefront of development and good ideas. Here it is seen as a bit irrelevant and out of date but I was inspired in Africa seeing what the church can do to help local communities and I wanted to do that here. Not create clean water but to enhance lives.”

He said working with the community choir, lunch club, and the knit and natter group were among the highlights of his time in Stanley, as well as the close bonds with he formed with parishioners “from bereavements to baptisms”.

Rev Henderson will retire to Denby Dale with his wife, Viv.

A bring and share lunch will be held after the service, followed by a drop-in afternoon 1pm-4pm to say goodbye.