Parish priest celebrates parishioner's 20 years of service

On Sunday February 13 the usual after-Mass coffee in the hall for the congregation of Sidmouth’s Catholic community took on a celebratory air, writes Peter McGauley.

A presentation was made to Frank Layland to mark more than 20 years of service to the Devon parish. During this time Mr Layland has served in a wide variety of roles which have included being in the choir, gift aid officer, chairman of the pastoral council, parish treasurer and hall manager.

The remarkable thing about him is that he saw nothing unusual about all his roles, which he carried out quietly, diligently and prayerfully. He was described as “the still small voice of calm” on any committee that he was on.

Canon Paul Cummins, parish priest, presented Mr Layland with a panoramic print of Sidmouth on behalf of the parish. Mr Layland was accompanied by his wife, Ursula, with whom he had celebrated 62 years of marriage the day before.

Catholics in Sidmouth worship at the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Radway, which opened 75 years ago.