A parish vicar is set to retire after nearly 40 years in the ministry.

The Reverend John Holland has overseen three churches, All Saints in Knuzden and St Paul’s and Immanuel churches in Oswaldtwistle, for the last six years.

He was area dean until April of this year, before stepping down to be replaced by Ian Enticott.

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John said he felt that, after 37 years in the ministry, the time was right to retire.

He said: “I’m 64 now so age was a big factor, but I felt it was the right time to go, and my congregations have accepted that.

“I enjoy the work, I like working with people and making special occasions extra special by performing a good service.

“I stepped down as area dean of Accrington two years ago when I knew I was going to retire, to concentrate on my parish.”

John, a native of Cornwall, was ordained in 1980, and has served all over the country including Birmingham, Dorset and Manchester.

He said: “I always went where I felt God was calling me. Oswaldtwistle is a very busy parish.”

Rev Holland’s last Sunday service will be held at 10am at Immanuel Church on New Lane in Oswaldtwistle on Sunday, August 28.