THE Reverend Ben Norton, Emmanuel Church’s popular pioneer minister, says goodbye to Bridlington this week after six years serving the community.
Rev Norton, will take his last service on Sunday before moving to a new parish in Middlesborough on April 2.
Although Rev Norton is looking forward to a fresh start in his new parish, he admits it is with a heavy heart that he leaves Bridlington.
“For me it has been the people of Bridlington that have changed me and whom I will talk about when ever I think of Brid.
“It has been a real privilege to have lived and worked in this community and I know I am so much richer for it.
“Our move to Middlesborough will bring fresh challenges but I know that the things I have learnt during my time in Bridlington will set me up to head in the right direction.
“We have made friends here that we will keep for life and I am sure we will be back from time to time for a cheeky bag of fish and chips and a day on the beach!”
As a pioneer minister Rev Norton’s role meant going out into the community and engaging with people who would not usually go to church.
Rev Norton said some of his highlights during his time in Bridlington have been the Beach Hut Advent Calendar in December in which a different advent scene is created in a seafront beach hut every day in the month, and the religious discussion groups he has held in town pubs.
No-one will be brought in permanently to fill Rev Norton’s role in Bridlington, though Simon Smile, who has been doing work at the church for some time will be taking over some of Rev Norton’s duties.