A Middlesbrough lad who served on the front line in the Korean War and later became a Headteacher celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood by officiating at the Eucharist at St James, Romanby on the 23rd September.

The Revd Allan Reed was assisted by Vicar the Revd Fiona Mayer-Jones and Bishop David Wilbourne, who spoke about his friend with affection and many amusing anecdotes. He also delivered a letter of congratulations from Archbishop Sentamu which Allan read to the congregation.

After the service, Fiona proposed a toast and thanked Allan for his continuing service to the Parish. Allan replied with an entertaining account of his life in the ministry, stressing the importance to us all of the two pillars of faith and love.

Allan was born in 1931 and after leaving Acklam Hall Grammar School he began his compulsory National Service in the Royal Signals at Catterick Camp and volunteered for front line service in the Korean War with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. In 1954, as a Geography student at Keble College, Oxford, he attended a Billy Graham meeting in London and became a Christian; in 1955 he responded to a calling to ordination and studied for two years at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Allan and Sybil married in April 1958.

Allan served as Curate at Beverley Minster from 1957 to 1960 and then at a new church on a new council housing estate at Greatfield, Hull. In 1964 he became Rector of St Andrew, Levenshulme, Manchester. In 1971 Allan gained a teaching diploma at Didsbury College, Manchester where he enjoyed being a student again, and started his teaching career in 1972, with continued permission to officiate in the Manchester Diocese. In time he became Head Teacher at St Oswald’s Primary School, Collyhurst, Manchester from where he retired in 1992 before moving to Richmond where he spent 18 years based at St Mary’s Church, supporting many of the village churches in the Richmond Deanery.

In 2013 Allan and Sybil moved to Northallerton where they found a welcoming church family and a continuing opportunity for dedicated service at St James.