ONE of Doncaster’s most high profile vicars is set to leave his church - to take up a new post in North Yorkshire.
The Reverend Andrew Allington will be taking his final services at Stainforth’s St Mary’s Parish Church in March before taking up his new role as the vicar of St Oswald’s in Filey on the east coast, from April 10.
He has been part of the Stainforth community for nearly 14 years.
The 55-year-old hit the headlines when he married his model girlfriend Hazel and the pair welcomed their first child Grace Joy in August of last year.
Mr Allington and his wife, aged 36, were interested in moving and after seeing St Oswald’s in Filey wanted a new vicar, they booked a holiday to the seaside town.
However, their plans nearly changed at the last minute after the couple discovered that only clergy in the York Diocese were eligible to apply for the post.
But their prayers were answered just a few months later when the job was offered to other candidates and Mr Allington applied.
After making it on to the shortlist and getting through a two-day visit for interviews back in October, Mr Allington received a phone call offering him the post which he accepted.
Mr Allington said during his time in Doncaster he appreciated the sense of loyal community in Stainforth and how accepting and friendly people in the town were.
The popular vicar said: “Stainforth church and community has become my extended family, especially through the many children and young people I’ve enjoyed sharing meals with at the vicarage.”
Despite admittedly finding change difficult, he added: “Every place brings its own promise and challenge.
“That’s been true in Stainforth and I’m sure will be true for us in Filey also.
He added: “While we are now moving on, the church and people of Stainforth will always have a special place in my heart.”
Mr Allington has conducted more than 100 marriage services at the church.
But it was his own nuptials which attracted attention after it emerged the couple met at the Stainforth Canal Festival. The former businessman married Hazel in 2011 and Grace came along a year later.
Hazel admits she is not the typical vicar’s wife.
She is a passionate fan of motorbikes, rollerblading and rock climbing and lived in Sydney, Australia, for seven years crewing on luxury yachts.
She also worked behind the scenes on the box office hit Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones.
Last year Hazel set up a business making her own brand of angels and fairies out of wool and selling them at craft stalls and markets.
Mr Allington’s final service will take place at St Mary’s on Sunday, March 17, at 10.30am.
All are welcome to attend.