Vicar says farewell to Batley after 10 years

FOND FAREWELL Rev Andrew Johnson is leaving Batley Parish Church after 10 years.
FOND FAREWELL Rev Andrew Johnson is leaving Batley Parish Church after 10 years.

A vicar is bidding a fond farewell to Batley after 10 years in his parishes.

The Rev Andrew Johnson, vicar of Batley Parish Church (All Saints) and St Andrew’s Church in Purlwell, gave his last service on Easter Sunday.

Mr Johnson is taking a new post in Barton Le-Clay in Bedfordshire, close to the town in which he trained.

“I’m going back to Bedfordshire, close to the market town of Hitchin, which is where I was curated,” he said.

“I’ve come full circle. After 10 years here it’s time for pastures new.”

Mr Johnson said one of the highlights of his time in Batley was the £68,000 refurbishment project at Batley Parish Church.

The three phase project at the historic church in Stocks Lane created a new kitchen, an extension housing new toilets, a new meeting room and an extension of the community room.

“That’s my lasting legacy, in the brickwork,” Mr Johnson said.

The church grounds have benefitted from new floodlights and the restoration of its main path, one of Batley’s oldest thoroughfares.

The 45-year-old said another highlight was sharing an altar with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, in Purlwell.

He said he would miss the people in his parishes and wanted to thank local councillors for their support.

“As vicar you get to meet people, they share the highs and lows of their lives with you.

“I have enjoyed my time here,” he added.

“I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.”

Mr Johnson’s replacement has yet to be announced, but services will continue as normal in the meantime.