A Dorset care home has thanked one of its residents for leading services of worship every Sunday since the first lockdown began more than a year ago.
The Reverend Jim Cocke, 94, was the Church of England’s longest serving priest until his retirement in January 2020 when he moved to Colten Care’s Castle View in Poundbury.
When the pandemic started, it restricted the scope for external Church representatives to visit and hold services at the home, so Jim stepped in.
Every Sunday morning since then, he has led a 30-minute service, giving fellow residents a regular focal point for Bible reading, prayer, worship and hymns.
Ashika Reddy, Home Manager, said: “Our Sunday services are very popular and we have seen the comfort and peace that Jim has provided our residents during this very difficult time.
“In each service, he covers seasonal topics and addresses local and global issues with prayers that help to keep Castle View’s community in faith and hope.
“We have the most heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity that Jim continues to offer by creating this weekly space for reflection.”
Until his retirement, Jim was an ordained priest for more than 67 years. He served as Vicar of All Saints’, Headington, Oxford, beginning his ministry as an assistant curate in 1952 and becoming Vicar there five years later.
Looking back on more than a year of lockdown services at Castle View, Jim said: “I have gratefully appreciated the opportunity to lead our active worship each week.”