A PRIEST delivered a special service to a packed congregation as he celebrated 25 years since he was ordained.
Father Andy Davis led the service at the Holy Trinity Church, 25 years to the day after being ordained.
To mark his silver anniversary, he welcomed guest of honour, Bishop Timothy Bavin, and former Rector of Alverstoke, Canon Norman Chatfield, who were influential in training Fr Davis in his first appointment in the church.
Fr Davis’s work was praised by a number of his peers during the service, as well as his wife and 88-year-old father, who both gave an emotional reading in front of the congregation.
When addressing the packed congregation, Bishop Bavin said the attendance was a powerful expression of thanks and respect from those who had come to Fr Davis’s sermons and had been touched by his work.
Many members of the church paid tribute to their priest and the variety of work he does in the community, in particular for the elderly and young.
Councillor John Beavis was at the service and was another to sing the praises of Father Davis’s hard work and what an important part he plays in the community.
Cllr Beavis said: ‘Andy has been a superb chaplin to the council.
‘When I was mayor he always made sure that he took part in all the important events in the town.’
During his 25 years of service, Fr Davis has held a number of positions within the church, starting at St Mary’s Alverstoke, where he became chaplin to the then Bishop of Portsmouth, Dr Kenneth Stevenson.
He also became curate-in-charge at St Francis, in Hilsea, and was appointed rector of St Peter’s Church, in Bishops Waltham.
Before becoming the vicar of Christ Church and Holy Trinity, and up until last month, he was also the Area Dean of Gosport.
Even though this was a special service for Fr Davis, work will return to normal for the vicar as he looks to welcome more people into his congregation.