Retiring rector the Rev Adrian Bell has chaired his final annual parochial church council meeting at Fakenham Parish church.
He said how grateful he had been for the support and care of the churchwardens, lay readers and retired clergy during the past year.
All the various groups that had helped run activities connected with both the church and the community had been invaluable.
When he was appointed in 2001 he had inherited a church which had been unable to pay its parish share year on year.
One of his main tasks had been to turn this around and he took great pride in having done so. The church now welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year and regularly pays its way.
Last year more than £25,000 was raised for charities, mainly through the ever-popular Christmas Tree Festival.
“I do thank you for asking me to come here in the first place and I know my wife Marian joins me in thanking you,” he said. “These have been the best years of my life.”
The rector’s farewell service will be on June 29 at 10.30am. A special interregnum committee has been formed to oversee the task of appointing a successor to Mr Bell.