Priest celebrates 40 years of faith

The rector of Whitby will celebrate 40 years as a priest at a special service on Monday led by the Archbishop of York.

Revd Canon David Smith, Rector of Whitby with Ruswarp, was ordained on 1 July, 1973 by the then Archbishop of York, Dr Donald Coggan and at St Hilda’s Church on the West Cliff on Monday night, Dr John Setamu will lead a special service.

He said: “This service is a chance for us to thank God for David’s ministry over the last forty years.

“He has served God and served his parishes with commitment and integrity.

“The last forty years have seen huge changes in society and throughout this time David has faithfully pointed others to Jesus as source of life for the present and hope for the future. Now is the great time to celebrate that.”

The Revd Canon David Smith, from St Mary’s Church said, “Being a Priest is a wonderful calling, and I’ve been blessed by God and the people I’ve served for the last forty years.

“I’ve learned a lot from these people about the joys of the Christian Faith and the ways in which parish ministry is to be accomplished together, each of us helping and praying for the other.”

Following his ordination, David first served the parish of St. Peter and St. Paul, Stokesley, before moving to Edinburgh and then Galashiels in Scotland.

In 1985 David and his family moved back to England, and was appointed Rector of St. Mary Magdalene in Yarm, and finally moved to Whitby in 2000. In 2005 he was appointed an Honorary Canon of York Minster.

Rt Revd Gordon Bates, previous Bishop of Whitby, and the Ven Paul Ferguson, Archdeacon of Cleveland, will also be attending. It starts at 7pm.