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Widnes bids farewell to much-loved vicar
IT was standing room only at St John's Church as the congregation and community said goodbye to their vicar.
Canon David Gait and his wife, Judi have retired from the east Widnes team after 36 years of ministry.
Tributes and presentations were made after a thanksgiving service and celebration lunch.
A group of 18 musicians led the congregation in memorable worship.
Their four children and their families joined past and present members of the church and the local community for a hog roast.
David arrived in Widnes in 1977 to be curate-in-charge of St John's, a mission church of St Luke's Farnworth.
A few years later, St John's became a parish church and David its first vicar.
Since then, the church has grown and been active across the town.
David was instrumental in setting up Widnes Foodbank and Widnes Pastors project The church centre’s offices, meeting rooms, kitchen, hall and play area are used daily by parishioners and the local community.
A team of lay people has been built to provide leadership and pastoral care, with varied styles of lively worship for all ages on Sundays, and home visiting and activities throughout the week.
David said: “I trust that the people of St John’s, working together, will continue to be the steadfast, encouraging presence in the community that God wants.”
The couple now live in their home in Wales.
Judi added: “We will never forget our church family in Widnes which has supported us and shown us and our family such love and friendship for almost the whole of our adult lives."
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