A lay reader from Leighton Buzzard has celebrated 25 years of ministry in the church with the community he serves.
Ian Woodward is a lay reader for the Church of England and moved to the town eight years ago.
Along with his wife Sarah, he hosted a tea for members of St Barnabas Church and visitors, held in the community hall nearby, on Sunday, November 8.
Friends travelled from St Mary’s Becontree, in Dagenham, where Ian trained for four years and spent the first 17 years of his ministry.
Among the many duties in the course of his ministry, Ian has conducted funerals, led school assemblies, run Alpha courses and prayed in a home where the occupants suspected a haunting.
Eight years ago Ian and Sarah moved to Leighton Buzzard and were welcomed by the congregation at St Barnabas, and Ian continued his lay ministry.
During the celebratory tea, Ian thanked the two ministers that he had served under - Ron Herbert and local minister Bernard Minton.
He also thanked the two congregations for their support, love and friendship. Members of an Explorer Scout Unit made the teas and coffees, followed by a service of celebration and thanksgiving,
During the service the choir sang a rousing version of When The Saints Go Marching In.