FORMER priest in charge at Hartshead Church the Rev Aidan Richardson has died at the age of 82.
Born James Aidan Richardson but known by his middle name, in Sunderland on December 19, 1928, he grew up in the North East.
He studied classics at Durham University and after graduating, Mr Richardson was ordained in the city and secured his first curacy in Ferry Hill, County Durham, in 1954.
He remained there for two years before joining the Scottish Episcopalian Church in Stirling from 1956-58.
He was made priest in charge at Bo’ness, where he served the coastal town from 1958-64.
Mr Richardson married his wife, Freda, during his university days and the couple had two sons, Martin and Malcolm.
The family moved to Linthwaite, in the Colne Valley, where he served as vicar at the local church from 1964-79.
Mr Richardson then became vicar at Clifton from 1979 until his retirement in 1992.
During this time, he was made priest in charge of Harthead Church between 1983-86, where he became a popular and well respected member of the community.
After his retirement, Mr Richardson still kept involved with the church and often led services for other priests.
“He led a life of quiet devotion and led by example. He was always there for people if they needed him,” said Martin.
In his later years, he became a popular member of St John’s Church, Cleckheaton. His wife died last year.
Malcolm added: “He was well known and respected locally and lots of people have had kind words to say about him.”
The Rev Brunel James, from the Cleckheaton circuit, paid tribute to Mr Richardson, said: “Aidan was an educated and well read man, who was proud to be a graduate of Durham University, where he met his wife. His gentle presence will be missed”.
The funeral will take place on October 19 at noon at St John’s Church, followed by interment at Clifton Cemetery.