A popular reverend is bidding a sad farewell as he gets set to take on a new post this summer.
The Reverend Captain Paul Allinson, who has served at Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew and St John the Baptist in Greatham, for over a decade will be taking on the role as Vicar of Ponteland, in the Diocese of Newcastle.
The 53-year-old finished his last Sunday service on June 4 and will take on his new role on Wednesday, July 5, following an induction by the Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman.
Paul said: “I have been at Seaton for 14 years and at Greatham for eight years, so it’s been hard to say goodbye.
“As you get older change is more difficult and this will be like starting again.
“But I am a North East lad and didn’t want to go anywhere else.
“I think it is a big challenge, but I am looking forward to it.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Greatham and Seaton and of course the Hospital of God.”
In his time Paul has seen many changes at the church, supporting a campaign led by parishioners for major renovation work at the Holy Trinity Church.
What followed was a £220,000 restoration programme, completed in 2015, which included stonework, security and lighting, disabled toilets, storage units, and work on the parish centre.
He has also worked at the Hospital of God in Greatham, dedicating time to help the charity which provides high quality care and housing services for older people.
On leaving his post, hundreds of people from Greatham and Seaton came together to hold a farewell party in his honour.
Paul, from Redcar, added: “Time has just flown and I know that if I spend the same length of time in my new role as at my last parish it could be my last one.
“I will particularly miss the people at the Hospital of God and the people of Hartlepool who have a great sense of humour and are so generous.
“People here are very warm and friendly, whoever takes on my role will have a fantastic congregation and community.”