Well earned rest after 20 years serving ‘Dale

Retiring vicar of upper Nidderdale Peter Dunbar (s)
Retiring vicar of upper Nidderdale Peter Dunbar (s)
Share this article

A much-loved Nidderdale character has retired from his post after 20 years serving as an Anglican vicar in the Dale.

The Reverend Peter Dunbar retired as vicar of upper Nidderdale on Sunday, September 30, after first taking up the post in 1992.

A special closing service was held for Mr Dunbar, followed by a farewell lunch, and parishioners and church wardens have paid tribute to his service to the communities of the Dale.

The area’s Lay Chairman Martin Imeson said: “More than 250 people came to the service, it was a packed church.”

Mr Dunbar has spoken of his time as vicar of Upper Nidderdale, and thanked the people he has met and worked with.

“It’s been a privilege and delight to be your vicar and your friend,” he said.

“Apart from the scenery, great facilities for healthcare and two wonderful Church of England primary Schools, it is the people of the Dale who make Pateley Bridge and its surroundings a very special area in which to live.”

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Mr Dunbar’s ordination as an Anglican priest.

He has served in Farnham, Scotton, Staveley, Copgrove, Arkendale, at St Aidan’s School in Harrogate and Ashville College, and as a curate in Knaresborough.

After two decades of service to the Dale, he decided it was time to retire but said he will be sad to lay down his responsibilities.

He has also thanked his mother and close friends for their support, and all the people who sent good wishes on his retirement.

He added: “Twenty years with one incumbent is more than any parish should be expected to bear.”

Mr Dunbar said he is looking forward to six months of rest and continuing with his commitments to volunteering around the area and his research.

But, Mr Dunbar added, he has “no idea” what retirement feels like as “my feet haven’t touched the ground yet.”