THE Vicar of the Skirlaugh Group of Churches has performed his last official duty in the village.
After eight years, the Revd Andy Simpson is ending his time as Vicar of Skirlaugh, Swine, Ellerby, Riston, Rise, Catwick, Sigglesthorne and Bewholme to take up his new post of Vicar of Barton-under-Needwood with Dunstall and Tatenhill in Staffordshire.
As a final farewell, he switched on Skirlaugh’s light display in a COVID safe event which was streamed live on Facebook on Saturday, November 28.
The event was co-hosted by Richard Corden, chair of Skirlaugh Parish Council. Revd Andy sang hymns before encouraging those watching to get involved with the countdown. The village tree was then illuminated with blue lights.
Due to lockdown restrictions, his final church services have, too, been streamed on Facebook.
Revd Andy’s farewell service to the group of churches was streamed from St. Augustine’s Church in Skirlaugh on November 22. This follows a farewell tour around the churches in the Benefice which began at St Margaret’s church in Long Riston on November 15.
FAREWELL Andy hosted farewell services at each church in the Benefice
He recorded and posted a video of morning prayer from each of the churches in the benefice before praying for each of their future and communities.
Revd Andy spoke about his move away from the area: “I’ve really enjoyed serving God and his people in these parishes and I want to thank all for their support and prayers, but I do believe God is calling me to do a new thing in a new place. I am East Riding born and bred so the people here will always be in my thoughts and prayers especially as we approach Christmas in the midst of this pandemic.”
A spokesperson for Skirlaugh Parish Council added: “This year was very surreal, with just the parish council Chairman Richard Corden and Rev Andy Simpson switching on the Christmas Lights. “Normally we have around 80 to 100 parishioners singing along, with music provided by the East Riding of Yorkshire Brass Band. COVID has a lot to answer for, but with 40 or so joining online through Facebook Live we managed to get the switch-on completed with a few voices in the distance cheering as the lights were switched on.
“The Parish Council would like to thank F Kemp & Son for erecting the tree and lights, and Rev Andy, who will be greatly missed as he was a huge part of village life. We all wish him well with his future endeavours.”
To view the videos of Revd Andy’s final services, visit the ‘Skirlaugh Group of Churches’ Facebook page.