FOR almost 20 years, he has been a fixture in the community.
But last Sunday, the Revd Canon Ted Goodyer performed his last service at St Mary’s Church in Alverstoke.
He is trading the bustle of Gosport for a quieter life in Gravesend, Kent, as chaplain of Huggens College, which provides housing for around 40 people of limited means.
The former marathon runner is looking forward to slowing down, but with mixed feelings.
Revd Goodyer said: ‘I’m hoping to have a little more free time, to read more and perhaps write a bit.
‘They like you to be around in case there’s some sort of crisis, but crises don’t happen every day. I will miss the variety of activity there is here. I will particularly miss the contact with schools.
‘I think young people kind of keep you on your toes, in the sense that they’re very inquiring.
‘I’m fortunate to have had all this time to get to know people in all the aspects of their lives, at good times like weddings and baptisms, and in bad times when we’ve had to say goodbye to people.’
While they are sad to see him go, parishioners have paid tribute to his hard work and wished him well.
Rear Admiral Tony Whetstone, 84, of Anglesey Road, said: ‘I’m not alone in feeling that his presence will be missed.
‘He’s very generous and kind with his time, and I always enjoy our chats – if I can catch him in a free moment! I wish him and his wife Liz a happy time in his new position.’
Dr Gareth Morgan, 59, of Kennedy Crescent, said: ‘Everyone is quite sad to see him go because he’ll be missed.
‘We’re all very happy for him and Liz because they’ve got a well earned rest, though he probably won’t rest.
‘He’s extraordinarily approachable and he’s always got time.
‘His energy is very impressive. If you want something done, ask a busy man, is the adage!
‘If there was a definition of the perfect vicar, that would be Ted.’