The Rev John Jenkinson retires from United Reformed Church in Dewsbury

LONG-SERVING: The Rev John Jenkinson said he had a real fondness for the people of Dewsbury. (d609a231)
LONG-SERVING: The Rev John Jenkinson said he had a real fondness for the people of Dewsbury. (d609a231)

A MINISTER who was a founding member of his church has retired from his post in Dewsbury.

The Rev John Jenkinson was the first minister at the country’s first United Reformed Church in Altrincham, near Manchester.

On Sunday – his 65th birthday – he led his last ever service at Longcauseway United Reformed Church in Dewsbury.

Mr Jenkinson worked in Altrincham after training as a minister in Manchester. He later worked in Halifax, then as a chaplain in Bradford’s hospitals before coming to Dewsbury in 1996.

“I didn’t know Dewsbury before I came, but I knew about the markets,” he said. “I felt at home almost from the beginning. I have a real fondness for Dewsbury and its people.”

One of Mr Jenkinson’s proudest achievements has been the opening of a vestibule ministry four days a week in an extended Longcauseway URC.

He was a founding member of Churches Together in Dewsbury and a key figure in the Spen and Calder Enterprise (SPACE) group of churches.

He has led services at Heckmondwike, Norristhorpe, Gomersal, Earlsheaton, Ravensthorpe and Hopton URCs.

In retirement, Mr Jenkinson will continue to live in Brighouse as he takes up a post as on-call chaplain for the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.