CURATE Rev Tom Atfield bid a fond farewell to parishioners from the town’s St John’s and St Andrew’s churches on Sunday (March 1).
The 34-year-old, who has been in Bromsgrove for four years, moves on to a new parish in Dudley with his wife and four-year-old daughter. There he will be a vicar in a team ministry.
He took over from Rev Chris Wingfield when he departed in March last year and, during that time, he has presided over a number of key services, including last year’s VJ Day commemorations.
Rev Atfield, who will be licensed later this month, received a round of applause from the congregation following Sunday’s service.
Lego-loving Tom was given a cake themed on the plastic Danish bricks and youngsters from the Sunday school awarded him certificates, including ‘Best Vicar’.
Leigh Blakeman, a member of St John’s Church, said Sunday was a very emotional day.
“Tom is one of the most genuine and sincere people you could wish to meet.
“His words of wisdom stayed with you long after the sermon or conversation had ended and the passion he had shone through in his honest and down to earth approach.
“We were all very sad to see him leave Bromsgrove,” she added.
The new vicar – Rev Ray Khan – will be licensed on April 23.
He comes to Bromsgrove from Tamworth.