Parishioners from St Michael the Archangel, Hathersage and Our Lady of Sorrows, Bamford said a fond farewell to Fr Martin Clayton on 15 October as he retired from life as parish priest.

  Fr Martin had served the two parishes for more than five years and moved to St Marie’s Cathedral.  Fr John Metcalfe took over the two parishes on the same day.

  A collection, organised by parishioner Liz Webb, raised more than £500 and a number of gifts were bought for the popular priest – including two framed photographs of the Hope Valley, a £100 M&S voucher, a framed picture of St Elizabeth of the Trinity and a book of her writings called ‘Praise of Glory’.  “What a great acknowledgement of the wonderful parish priest we have been blessed with for five years and seven months,” said Liz.

  In typically self-effacing manner, in his final email to the parishes Fr Martin reminded us that, “The parish is the people.  You are all stewards in the vineyard and priests come along to make their particular contribution.”

  God bless Fr Martin and we hope you continue to “have a good Sunday lunch” at St Marie’s.