It was the final countdown for a popular vicar who said a fond farewell to the congregation he had served for almost a decade.
The Rev. David Anderson conducted his final service at St Lawrence and St Paul churches, Longridge, before he started his new post as Chaplain at Blackburn Hospital, specialising in mental health care.
The father-of-one allowed his puppet, Wake up Will, to take centre stage during the family communion service at the churches and sing The Final Countdown.
He then gave a humorous, yet emotive speech about his nine years service with the parish.
Dot Little, church spokesman, said: “The Rev. Anderson said how he would miss the children and young people. He reminded the wider congregation that young people are not just the church of the future but the church of today and how we can learn from their energy, enthusiasm and commitment.
“Despite young people being at the heart of his ministry, he admitted that some of the hardest goodbyes had been with the elderly people, many in our residential homes, who he had regularly visited.
“It was fitting that his final service was in the Parish Church of St Lawrence, a building he said he had grown to love, not least because of the wonderful stained glass windows which depict the childhood of Jesus. It was a building also where he had the privilege of being with people in times of joy and alongside them in times of sadness.
“The hymns for an uplifting Songs of Praise service had been chosen personally by David, his wife Claire and son Thomas, with the choir singing For the Beauty of the Earth and Clare Benediction.
“Various presentations were made as a token of appreciation for Rev Anderson’s wonderful ministry here over the last almost nine years. One of the gifts by the church craft group was a beautiful memory quilt which included scenes of Longridge, the Anderson family and the two church buildings.”
Rev Anderson will live in Grimsargh and his wife Claire will continue to take Weightwatcher classes in Longridge and Grimsargh.