Parishioners at St John’s, Haydon Wick celebrated othe long standing leadership of their vicar, Revd Canon Raymond Adams, on Sunday 15 November.
The congregation held a special anniversary lunch after the second of their two morning services with surprise guests, Bishop Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol and his wife Anthea.
Church warden Sharon Mortimer said: “I’ve been worshipping at St John’s for 32 years now and during that time, under Raymond’s leading, the church has grown, attracted more people from the neighbouring area and further afield. We outgrew the first hall, and had to re-jig the worship area to accommodate us all.”
During the celebrations, Bishop Mike congratulated Raymond on his long stay in the parish and commented that perseverance is a valuable quality for any Christian.
Raymond had the congregation laughing as he recalled the numerous occasions when his poor memory for recognising faces has landed him in awkward situations. He said of his long commitment to St John: “Having originally come here for 7 years I am surprised to have been here for 25. But why would anyone want to leave such an active, creative and loving congregation?”
Raymond and his wife Alison came from Burnley in Lancashire to take up the position in 1990. Alison now teaches at Haydon Wick Primary School, and Raymond has other church responsibilities beyond the parish. He is a well-known figure in the Haydon Wick area, taking assemblies in local primary schools and numerous funerals for parishoners, and has established a strong link with Luweero Diocese in Uganda.
As well as Sunday services, the church, situated beside Morrison’s supermarket, also runs a Pram Club for small children and their carers, Alpha courses, and also hosts the successful Rock Café on Fridays and Saturdays between 10am and 2pm.
Christmas services are always popular with this year’s Christingle Service taking place on Sunday 13 December, 4.30pm, and Carols by Candlelight on 20 December at 6.30pm. Find out more at: www.stjohnshaydonwick.org.uk
Pictured top, from left, Tony Nash (Church Warden), Revd Canon Raymond Adams and his wife Alison, Rt Revd Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol and Sharon Mortimer (Church Warden) during the celebrations. Below, Rev Adams, left, with volunteers who run the busy Rock Cafe