Secretary Retires after 50 years Continuous Service in Baptist Churches
John Parsons, who started attending Shirehampton Baptist Church at 18 years old, became a deacon in 1962 and has been actively involved in church life ever since.
A hard-working church secretary has taken a well-earned rest after more than 50 years continuous service in several Baptist churches in the West Country.
At Shirehampton he served as deacon, treasurer, secretary, fabric steward, Boy's Brigade captain, youth leader, sometimes more than one at the same time. He was church secretary for three ministers and during two interregnums.
John and his wife Mary then moved to Cairns Rd Baptist Church in Bristol for 10 years where John served as administrator, secretary, and fabric steward.
Eight years ago John and Mary moved to Watchet Baptist Church where he has served as fabric steward, house group leader, administrator and church secretary until March this year.
Mary has also been active by his side doing Girls' Brigade and running the home, freeing John to serve in all the ways he has.
He was presented with a retirement gift by the Revd Dave Winfield (previous minister of Watchet Baptist Church) and the Revd Jez Brown (SWBA Team Leader).
Even now in his 'retirement' John has not slowed down - he is still involved with The Sanctuary (Watchet Baptist Church's new town centre community facility - www.thesanctuary.org.uk), as well as being Assistant Station Master for the WSR Steam Railway at Williton.
Current minister Watchet Baptist Church the Revd Carl Smethurst described John as 'a real source of inspiration to us.'
'In a world where people often seem scared to commit to anything,' he said, 'John has selflessly given of his time, energy and his considerable talent to serve God's church for over 50 years - we only wish we could clone him!
'We thank God for John's outstanding example of servanthood and continue to value his wisdom and experience now that he has 'retired'.'