HE has married 1,000 couples, been chaplain to mayors, war veterans, scouts and hospital patients – all in 50 years as a vicar.

But above all, Rev Kenneth Ward, 80, has provided a

listening ear for many a parishioner in Daventry and beyond.

The Holy Cross Church reverend was first given his title at St Barnabas, Wellingborough in 1952 and then spent some years in Stevenage before spending 25 years in Daventry and

several more in Pattishall.

His other roles have included national chaplain to the Normandy Veteran

Association and many years as chaplain of Danetre Hospital.

He also set up a system of 'street wardens' to make sure he was in touch with the community.

He said: "That's what it's all about really, listening to people. I set up the warden scheme who would report in cases of illness, sickness or trouble which enabled us to keep abreast of things."

Now, the reverend said, they no longer exist and the church has changed the

way it liaises with the


At a special service at 3pm on Sunday at Holy Cross, Rev Ward will be celebrating his 50 years as priest, which coincides with the Queen's Coronation.