Vicars of Badshot Lea and Hale, Reverends Lesley and Alan Crawley, are moving on to pastures new after 12 years in the parish.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve in this parish for the past 12 years, and the love and joy and fun that we’ve had has meant we have been very reluctant to move on,” said Lesley.

“However, we’ve realised it is now best for us and the parish that we retire and move to our flat in Southwold. Consequently, we’ve written to the Bishop and will be retiring on February 4.”

There is a meeting on October 30 at St George’s Church in Badshot Lea at 7.15pm, where archdeacon Martin Breadmore will explain the next steps for the parish and answer any questions.

It is hoped a new rector will be in place by September next year.

Lesley added: “We have felt God’s call to this parish very strongly and we are very grateful God brought us here. We now feel God’s call to leave.

"Thank you for your love and support. Over the next few months, let us seek God’s will and continue to grow in faith and, of course, have fun.”

Read Lesley and Alan's full message to parishioners here.