A priest, who is in charge of three churches in the Ribble Valley, has said that he expects to retire in September.
Canon Rodney Nicholson (68), vicar of St Paul’s, Low Moor, Clitheroe, and priest-in-charge of Chatburn and Downham, said he thought it was only fair to be open about his plans since some reorganisation of churches will take place when he leaves.
Canon Nicholson walked from his home town of Lancaster through the Trough of Bowland to Clitheroe in 1961 little guessing that 30 years later he would spend nearly the next 25 years in the Ribble Valley town.
Born and bred in Lancaster, he attended Lancaster Grammar School before reading classics at Oxford. After university he taught in Birmingham for a year before attending Ridley College Cambridge and entering the ministry. Alongside running three parishes, Canon Nicholson, who lives in Clitheroe, serves as the chair of governors at Chatburn Primary School and is also involved with Edisford Primary School in Clitheroe.
He was made a canon at Blackburn Cathedral in 2006 and is now planning to relocate to Pocklington near York to be closer to his family.
Canon Nicholson, who has two children, said: “I have greatly enjoyed my time in the Ribble Valley. Some highlights have been seeing my churches become Fairtrade parishes, as part of the growing Fairtrade movement, and I’m especially gratefully to church members Miles and Lynda Leadbeater for their commitment to this work.”
Other highlights have included operating an open door policy so that all his three churches are open during the working day. Previously the church doors at St Paul’s and Chatburn were kept locked.
He has also enjoyed taking over the parishes of Chatburn and Downham 11 years ago as they are all different.
Other high points have been welcoming new people to church who have joined through a wedding, a baptism or a funeral. Canon Nicholson has also enjoyed happy relations with other churches, especially Chatburn Methodist Church where the fortnightly Joyful Noise gatherings to sing hymns and songs old and new, and in which several churches take part, are held.
Canon Nicholson added that it has been great to be able to help raise a few thousand pounds for Christian Aid and the Children’s Society.
Acting as curate at St Bartholomew’s in Colne was Canon Nicholson’s first role before he moved to take on the same role at St John’s church in Blackpool for three years.
Before moving to Clitheroe, he was priest in charge at St Bartholomew’s in Ewood, Blackburn, for 11 years.