A LINE was drawn under the tenure of Rev Canon Thomas Woodhouse as a vicar in Royal Wootton Bassett at the weekend as hundreds attended a farewell service in his honour.

The popular minister will take up a new post as team rector at St Mary’s Church in Dorchester at the end of this month, after eight years in Wiltshire.

On Sunday, February 9, Canon Woodhouse presided over his final Eucharist at St Bartholomew and All Saints’ Church, when 245 members of the church were given their chance to say goodbye and recognise his work.

On Saturday, a service and reception was held by the church family and local dignitaries, who presented the vicar with various gifts to mark his departure, including vouchers, a cheque and a stole with two bastion crosses embroidered in gold thread.

In the service Canon Woodhouse returned the keys to St Bartholomew’s to the church wardens, with 214 attendees, including James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, and Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council.

Speaking at Saturday’s service, St Bartholomew’s church warden Ruth Sexton said: “The right person in the right place at the right time, heaven sent Thomas Woodhouse.

“The church family of St Bartholomew and All Saints’ Church have been blessed by your ministry over the past eight years.

“Together with Kate (wife), Charlotte, Beatrice, Anne and Alice (all daughters), you have given so much to both the church and the wider community.

“It’s difficult to find words to convey all that you have done.”