Vicar bows out after 25 years
PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 July 2011
A VICAR who is retiring from a Weston church after 25 years said farewell to his congregation at a party at the weekend.
Reverend Geoff Hobden says he intends to catch up with friends and family when he bows out after a quarter of a century at the helm of Christ Church in Montpelier.
Rev Hobden, who was born in town and went to Hutton Primary School and Weston Grammar School, worked for Halifax Building Society in Oxford Street, before being promoted and moving to Kent in the 1970s.
He and wife Hazel went on to have two children, Anthony and Rebecca, and now have five year-old grandson Arlie.
In 1980 Rev Hobden, also chair of governors at Christ Church Primary School in Baker Street, undertook his ministry training in Bristol and then became a trainee vicar in Exeter.
He was then asked to take charge at Christ Church, where he used to worship, in 1986.
Rev Hobden says has seen a number of changes during his time at the church, now called Christ Church with Emmanuel, including modernisation and the building of the £600,000 Spire Centre at the Montpelier site.
He is retiring with his wife Hazel, also a Westonian, to Bleadon Hill and is taking six months before he decides what to do with his spare time.
The 65-year-old, whose idea it was to start charity Weston Hospicecare after seeing something similar in Exeter, said: “I’ve not really got many plans at the moment, except to catch up with family and friends I may have lost contact with over the years.
“I’m still fit and healthy, so I want to be doing something.
“We will be concentrating on taking our golden retriever for nice walks.”