FIFTY years of faithful service as verger of Hampton Lucy’s magnificent St Peter Ad Vincula church was too important an occasion for the village to let pass by.
And in a church big enough to have been holding socially distanced services in recent months, members of the community lined up a whole host of surprises for Alistair Speller on Sunday morning.
There were a number of presentations at the start, including a specially named rose – Ali the Verger – a framed certificate from the bishop and messages from people who wanted to thank him for his service across the decades.
But there was more to follow as the service got under way. The joint heads from the school read the lessons and Bishop Christopher had sent a special video message and sermon.
Church warden Elaine Rajkowski said: “It was a complete surprise and I think he was really quite overwhelmed with it all. We tried to include people who had a special connection.”
Elaine drew attention to just one of his many contributions to church – and village – life: “He climbs the steps three times a week to make sure the clock strikes on time and it’s a very reassuring sound for the village.”
He has been supported by wife Chris, who Elaine described as “an absolute stalwart” in helping him across those 50 years – and counting.