A VICAR who has served one of North Yorkshire's biggest parishes is retiring from his rural role.

Canon Tony Keddie, Rector of Fountains, near Ripon, is in charge of eight churches scattered over 70 square miles.

Canon Keddie, who has recently been fitted with a pacemaker, will retire from ministering to his scattered flock of 2,500 on Sunday, May 26, with a farewell service at Kirkby Malzeard.

The other churches in his rural patch are Mickley, Grewelthorpe, Dallowgill, Aldfield, Studley, Winksley - and, in summer, the Chapel of the Resurrection, at Dallowgill. The chapel is open in summer only as it lacks a water supply.

Canon Keddie, who is 64, will move to Otley, but still plans to continue preaching