SHARING in the lives of village people is top of the list of things Canon Clive Evans will miss when he leaves Long Buckby next month after almost 16 years.
Canon Evans has been vicar at St. Lawrence Church in long Buckby since April 1997 when he moved to the village with his wife and young family.
He is also vicar of a group of four churches covering the parishes of Watford, West Haddon and Winwick, all of which he will be sad to leave for a new church in Bromyard in Hereford.
He said: “Leaving will be a huge wrench for us, having got to know the area well and having made so many friends. We’ve shared a lot together over the years and we are sad to leave.
“But there comes a stage when you feel you have done all you can and that a new pair of hands is what is needed. So we are leaving because we believe God is calling us onwards.
“As the Bible puts it, there is a time for every season under heaven. And that includes leaving.”
Highlights from over the years have included being invited to a diamond anniversary celebration, village summer fetes and sharing a glass or two with people in the village from which Canon Evans believes he has taken a lot of wisdom.
Canon Evans said: “Once people have got to know you, the vicar becomes something of an ‘institution’ in the community. In a changing world, that can give a certain sense of stability.
“I’ve enjoyed getting involved in our schools, when the community comes together on occasions such as the Long Buckby Feast and Remembrance Sunday; and by drawing on my legal background when I can and assisting in local inquiries.
“And we have a vision to do much more - ‘Church’ is definitely not just about the vicar, but about every member.”
The next step for Canon Evans is to join the community in Bromyard which he says is a daunting prospect but he and his family feel a growing sense of calling to do and where he hopes to make a difference.
Canon Evans’ final service takes place at St. Lawrence’s, Long Buckby at 10.30am, Sunday, February 3. All are most welcome.