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Former Vicar's 90th Birthday Gift

The Reverend John Horton who was the parish priest and first Vicar of St James the Deacon for 35 years until his retirement has celebrated his 90th birthday with a Thanksgiving Eucharist and a buffet lunch at St Aidan's, Billy Hil,l in Northe Shields where he and Jean have lived since leaving York.

Over 100 family and friends from North Shields, York and elsewhere attended the event an Saturday,28 March. During the service led by the reverend Jim Robertson, a stole was blessed and presented to St James the Deacon by John.   It had been specially made to go with the cope that he had given to the church earlier.   It was originally given to John by his mother, Hilda, for the dedication of the church of St James the Deacon on 5 July 1971.  The stole was made by Watts & Co of London who had made the cope and who were able to match the original colours and materials from their records.

John himself shunned presents and asked for donations instead to th Deanne Gee Memorial Fund, a local charity set up by Joyce Gee, in memory of her daughter, and for which John & Jean have supported since its inception.   It makes grants to local children with special needs both medical and physical with the objective of improving their conditions of life.  Over £900 in donations have been made.

John Horton presents the stole to Eileen Soards of St James the Deacon.  
The Revd Jim Robertson on the right is wearing the cope. John's wife, Jean, is on the left.


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