Father Dennis reaches 50 years as a priest

A PRIEST from St Ives was joined by friends and family at a church ceremony to honour the 50th anniversary of his ordination to priesthood. Father Dennis Clark, who is 80 years old, told The Hunts Post he always knew he would work in the church. During hi

A PRIEST from St Ives was joined by friends and family at a church ceremony to honour the 50th anniversary of his ordination to priesthood.

Father Dennis Clark, who is 80 years old, told The Hunts Post he always knew he would work in the church. During his five decades he has been a leading religious figure in the RAF and part of the communities of both Godmanchester and St Ives.

To mark his half a century of service he was given a book dedicated to him and signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Father Clark, who trained for his priesthood at St Stephen's House theological college in the University of Oxford, said: "Before I became a priest I was always going to church and I've always felt I was called to priesthood.

"It's not a job it's more a vocation and more often than not it chooses you not the other way round."

He was ordained at St Paul's Cathedral and served as curate in Southall and then in Worcester.

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He has held many senior posts including being appointed a chaplain in the Royal Air Force in 1961 before becoming assistant chaplain-in-chief of the Royal Air Force in 1979.

From 1982 to 1991 he was priest at Godmanchester and in 1991 he retired to St Ives with his wife Hilda where he has been working as assistant priest at All Saints Church.

Father Clark, who has three children and two grandchildren, added: "I enjoy all of my priest duties and I will carry on as a priest until I die as a priest is always a priest even when they retire. My family have been terribly supportive of my chosen path over the years especially my wife."

One of his congregation said: "Father Dennis is held in the warmest affection by the congregation and all in St Ives who have come to know him as a gifted, kind and modest priest.

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