A Lancashire church celebrated the 50th Anniversary of incumbent Rev Canon Paul Warren's ordination this week with a special Communion service.
Two Bishops joined a congregation of substantial numbers of fellow clergy, parishioners, friends and well-wishers at St John’s Church in Silverdale to pay tribute to a remarkable life of Christian service, much of it spent in Blackburn Diocese.
Rev Warren celebrated the Eucharist accompanied by lifelong friend, Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, former Bishop of Manchester and the current Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson.
Also assisting in the service was another close friend, Canon Professor David Thomas of Wells Cathedral and also former Curate at St John's Rev Jill Novell and current Reader at St John's, Peter Dyer.
More than 200 people packed into church to join the celebration, including people from former parishes.
The service was followed by the mother of all bunfights organised by the Churchwardens and members of the congregation, who laid on a magnificent buffet in the church hall after the service.
Rev Canon Paul Warren was ordained on Trinity Sunday in 1968, and has spent his career in parishes in the Blackburn Diocese as well as serving as Chaplain at Selwyn College, Cambridge and maintaining strong links with Lancaster University and Lancaster Priory.
It was significant that June 11 was the Feast of St Barnabas, the early church Apostle, who was the subject of the talk by Bishop McCulloch and one of Canon Warren's key figures in his church life.