A POPULAR minister, who has spent two years leading a congregation in Padiham, is leaving to return to his old parish.
The Rev. Jeff Gould is to return to Wilmslow, Cheshire, where he served at Dean Row Chapel and Hale Barns for nine years before coming to Padiham and its Nazareth Unitarian Chapel oin 2010.
Mr Gould said: “I will be sad to leave Padiham as I have been very happy here. I would like to thank everyone who has made me feel welcome and part of the extended family in this congregation and to the members of the community who helped me feel at home in the town. I leave with great sadness but also gratitude.’’
One of the lasting memories Mr Gould will have is taking part in the annual Walking Day Parade and being invited to host the annual Service of Remembrance. He will also cherish the memory of blessing the crib at Padiham Town Hall and leading “La Marseille’’ when citizens from Burnley’s twin town of Vitry-sur-Seine visited.
American-born Mr Gould has lived in the UK for 32 years. He grew up inBoston, Massachusetts, and his first taste of British life came when he studied at King’s College in London.
He later returned to his homeland where he completed his degree in religious studies before moving to San Francisco where he was chaplain for the county jail and hospital.
He returned to the UK in 1985 where he completed his post-graduate degree at Oxford University. While studying he took up posts in London’s East End, Belfast and Somerset. He was ordained as a minister when he left Oxford and took up his first post in Liverpool where he stayed for a decade.