Landkey priest celebrates silver jubilee
A former Australian Bishop and numerous well wishers are expected at Barnstaple Parish Church on Saturday to celebrate the silver jubilee of Landkey priest the Reverend Geoffrey Squire, a man whose work has enriched the lives of many in North Devon and be
A former Australian Bishop and numerous well wishers are expected at Barnstaple Parish Church on Saturday to celebrate the silver jubilee of Landkey priest the Reverend Geoffrey Squire, a man whose work has enriched the lives of many in North Devon and beyond.
A long and colourful procession will enter St Peter and St Mary Magdalene Church at 12 noon on Saturday to mark the 25 years since Father Geoff, as he is known to all, was ordained as a priest.
Beyond the busy life of a parish priest, long before he took holy orders, Father Geoff, 73, founded the organisation that became the nationwide Youthlink, which provides support for young people, and 38 years later he is still its administrator.
Through this and his wide links with many churches of all denomination, the many people Father Geoff has worked with over the years are determined to make his ordination silver jubilee service as splendid as possible and all are invited to go along and celebrate the special occasion.
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It will be led by the Right Reverend David Silk, former Bishop of Ballarat in Australia, joined by the Reverend Stephen Leach, former Rector of Barnstaple and Christians of all traditions. The Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Jeremy Phillips, will also be attending.
The music is set to be a special feature, directed by organist Mark James from Landkey, and former Youthlink member currently studying at Exeter University who has put together a programme which includes items composed for the Queen's coronation, a hymn written by Father Geoff plus popular hymns and a special fanfare composed for the occasion by Mark.
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Looking forward to the service, Father Geoff said: "I am just over the moon about it and am only just beginning to understand what's been going on behind the scenes to make it happen. I think it will be something rather special."
Born and educated in Barnstaple, Father Geoff had a full career long before taking his vows, he was managing director of James and Tucker Hardware, and also non-executive director for Home Hardware South West.
He served Barnstaple Parish Church for 50 years, as choir boy, server, sacristan, master of ceremonies and bell ringer and - after his ordination - for 13 years as assistant priest, before moving on to St Paul's Church at Landkey.