Much-loved village vicar to retire

A popular village vicar who served Read and Simonstone for more than 15 years is to retire.

Monday, 28th April 2014, 10:43 am
Read Rev. Dr Alan Sowerbutts and wife Gill (photo by Angie Totty)

The Rev. Dr Alan Sowerbutts has been the vicar at Read St John’s and Simonstone St Peter’s Church since 1998.

The 65-year-old has been an avid fund-raiser with the church and was active with the choir and also played the organ at St John’s.

He has been a governor at the village primary schools and has played an active part in school life.

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John Aizlewood, warden of the church, said: “He has been vicar to the parish for fifteen and a half years.

“He has been a very good servant to the village. He is very well liked and very active with the church and two primary schools where he was the governor.

“He has been community fund-raising for the church and was chaplain to the former Mayor of Clitheroe John Hill.”

The Rev. Dr Sowerbutts has been a popular figure in the village during his time as vicar.

Mr Aizlewood said: “He is a very talented man. He is a Reiki master and, as a result, has been able to help parishioners with his healing skills.

“He is also an amateur magician. We had a comedy evening at St Peter’s and he did magic tricks which went down really well.”

Parishioners paid tribute to his hard work during a special festal service over the Easter weekend alongside his wife, Gill.

Mr Aizlewood said: “We had a celebration service for him. We are very grateful for all his hard work and wish him and his wife Gill all the best as they head into retirement.

“He will be a hard act to follow.” He was presented a gift of a lifetime membership to the National Trust by parishioners.