A devout church-goer is celebrating 30 years as a church verger.
A special service was dedicated to 77-year-old Pam Derbyshire at St Peter’s Church, in Scorton, where she has clocked up three decades of loyal office.
As a regular member of the congregation and choir, Pam became a verger shortly after her husband, Walter, drowned in a fishing accident in Morecambe Bay in 1986.
The role kept her busy and she joined the Church of England Guild of Vergers in 1989.
The grandmother-of-two, who grew up in Lancaster, said: “I was a member of the congregation and choir and I used to help the church warden. The new vicar at the time, Rev Lawrence Adam, asked me to be a verger and I said yes.
“I was a widow when I got the job. Three years later I did a guild training course and I found it very useful. I made hundreds of friends and it gave me a new thing in my life. It is a shame as Walter never saw me become a verger but I see him whenever I am at the church.
“All my life I have loved anything to do with teaching church rituals. I had been a member of the Lancaster Priory when I was younger, which was a very busy church. I loved watching all the things that happened, so I was delighted to be a verger at St Peter’s and do it for real.”
Pam, a mother-of-two, has worked alongside six vicars, including the current Rev Anton Muller.
Her duties include preparing the church for services, leading church tours and housekeeping.
She said: “I do lots of jobs. People think it is just a Sunday job, but things happen all week. I prepare the church for services, marriages, funerals, christenings and confirmations and I see to the registers. Whenever visitors come I do tours. I clean brass, silverware and the church linen and I keep the altar clean.
“I have enjoyed every minute of being a verger as I find it very interesting.
“I was very honoured to have this service held for me.”
Rev Mullan said: “Pam is part of the fabric of St Peter’s and a fount of local knowledge and wisdom in the village.
“Given the tragic circumstances of the loss of her husband in a boating accident over 30 years ago, Pam has been a example of fortitude and courage.
“We hope to give Pam a much deserved celebration for all that she brings to St Peter’s Church and the life of the village of Scorton.”