Happy memories of 15 years serving the villages of the East Riding

There was a fantastic turnout at Beeford Community Centre as dozens of people from the parish bid farewell to Rev James Grainger-Smith.

Having served as Rector of Beeford with Frodingham and Foston, and of Brandesburton and Leven, for the last 15 years, Rev Grainger-Smith presided over his final service.

Rev Grainger-Smith will officially leave his role on Monday 11th July, at which point he, his wife Janice and sons Matthew and Peter, will relocate to Buckinghamshire, allowing them to be closer to his elderly mother.

I’m sad to be leaving. The people of the East Riding are second to none. It’s been lovely to live in the area and my sons have grown up here.

rev James grainger-smith

But before leaving the area, the popular vicar was given a fond farewell by members of the congregation at all seven churches he served, with lots of highlights and memories shared.

One of Rev Grainger-Smith’s main roles saw him lead the annual memorial service in commemoration of the 158 Squadron, which was based at RAF Lissett during World War Two.

Reflecting on his time as Rector, Rev Grainger-Smith told the Wolds Weekly that the memorial service is just one of many aspects of life in the East Riding of Yorkshire that he will miss.

The Rev James Grainger-Smith with his wife Janice and sons Matthew and Peter.

He said he hopes his successors are just as happy in the role as he has been for the last 15 years.

“I have served my original parishes – Beeford with Dunnington and Lissett, North Frodingham and Foston-on-the-Wolds, for the last 15 years,” explained Rev Grainger-Smith.

“Then in 2011, I also acquired Brandesburton and Leven.

“I’m sad to be leaving. The people of the East Riding are second to none. It’s been lovely to live in the area and my sons have grown up here.

“However, my mother is 86 and has been on her own since my dad died six years ago.

“Therefore, moving a bit closer to her seems like the right thing to do.

“She lives in Kent and the job I will be taking on is in Buckinghamshire, which is a lot closer than if I stayed in the East Riding.

“There has been a great turnout from my parishioners today and it’s been lovely to see everyone.

Presiding at the annual memorial service for those who served in 158 Squadron held at St James of Compostela, Lissett, in 2019.

“It’s nice that people have taken time out of their day to come and be part of this event.

“I’ve made loads of memories during my time here, including being involved with the services to commemorate the 158 Squadron.

“That involvement has been a privilege and a blessing.

“There are so many things that I am going to miss and it would be easier to list the only thing I am not going to miss, which is the wind coming off the North Sea in the winter!

“But everything else – the people, different groups, schools, charities, community organisations.

“It’s all been lovely and I really can’t complain. Whoever comes after me, which I think might be two people, will have a lovely job and I hope they appreciate the parishes and their time here as much as I have.”

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