A church vicar is looking back with fond memories as he prepares to retire after more than a decade serving parishioners.
The Rev David Tate, is stepping aside as priest of St Mary’s and All Saints churches in South and North Wootton respectively, having been in the post for the past 13 years.
The vicar, 72, plans to return to Kent with his wife Margaret to spend more time with their daughter and family.
Rev Tate’s final day of work at the churches will be on Sunday when he takes his final service at All Saints.
Reflecting on his time in West Norfolk the Rev Tate, who has three children and six grandchildren, said: “I’m going to the miss the people as I’ve got so many friends up here.
“It’s the people who make the community and the church. I’ve met so many different people and families over the years.”
The Rev Tate, a keen gardener and cyclist, first moved to West Norfolk in 1986 where he worked for West Norfolk Council as treasurer until his retirement in 2003.
It was during his final year with the council that he trained to become a priest, eventually becoming an ordained local minister at All Saints in 2003.
“The original plan was only to stay in West Norfolk for three years, but after helping with big council projects such as Lynnsport and the Corn Exchange my work with the church then took over,” he said.
“Our passion has always been helping people and we’ve done so much work in the community between us.
“We will continue to do similar things in Kent but I think I’m going to have a bit of a rest first.”
Rev Canon James Nash paid tribute to the work of Rev Tate.
Canon Nash said: “David and his wife Margaret have been part of the church in the Woottons since 1986 and have both played prominent roles.
“He’s brought his financial expertise and wisdom to the church and I appreciate his support, wisdom and insight over the years.
“David will be greatly missed. He is known and loved by everybody.”
Tomorrow morning, twenty-four hours before taking his final service, a Big Brekkie is being held at All Saints Church to mark the start of Christian Aid Week 2017.
The Rev Canon Nash said: “We’ve been supporting Christian Aid for many years and have raised around £80,000 through the support of the community.
“The fundraising work was started by John and Elizabeth Smallwood and, more recently, has been carried on by David and John Sands.”
Taking place between 8.30 and 11am, there is no need to book, just turn up and enjoy a fine breakfast and good company. All support would be appreciated.