Retirement of minister who oversaw historic merger

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A well respected and popular minister who oversaw a historic merger of two Burnley churches has retired after 15 years in Burnley, but has promised to remain part of the congregation.

Minister Rev. Roger Green has stepped down from his role at Briercliffe Road Baptist Methodist Church after what he described as many happy years in the post.

The 65-year-old, originally from Rossendale, started his ministry at the former Burnley Lane Baptist Church and oversaw its merger eight years ago with the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Green, who has also served at churches in Leeds and County Durham, said: “The merger was one of the highlights of my ministry. I think we really saw the hand of God at work in that.

“The two churches really gelled together and we have made lots of new friends as a result. My wife Pauline and I have made Burnley our home and we will continue to attend Briercliffe Road Church and help out when we can.”

A keen Rochdale FC fan, Rev. Green was given four gifts by parishioners at a farewell carol service shortly before Christmas.

Baptist secretary Doreen Landriau, who wrote a farewell ode, said: “Rev. Green was a warmly reserved minister who expressed a lot of friendship, care and Christian love.

“His wife Pauline is also a marvellous cook and baker. There were tears of sadness and joy at the farewell service. We are now going through the process of finding his replacement.”

Burnley Lane Baptist Church in Colne Road was one of the oldest churches in Burnley when it closed in December, 2007.

Originally called Ebenezer Baptist Church, one part of the current building was built in 1845 followed by the current church in 1860 and the church hall five years later. However, there had been a church on the site since the 1780s, around the time the preacher Dan Taylor arrived from Halifax.