A RIBBLE Valley vicar is set to return to work after undergoing a quadruple heart bypass last year.

The Rev George Darby, who is priest in charge at St Andrew’s in Slaidburn, will resume his full-time duties on Sunday, March 16, after more than four months off.

The 65-year-old made an appointment at Royal Blackburn Hospital at the start of November after feeling ill on holiday in France with his wife Pauline.

The dad-of-two, who has been in charge at Slaidburn for just over two years, was taken for scans and was told that he required a quadruple heart bypass in Blackpool.

After 27 days in hospital Rev Darby was allowed to return home but was told to have at least three months off before returning to work.

Rev Darby, who is also in charge of St Bartholomew's in Tosside, St James’ in Dale Head and St George’s in Dunsop Bridge, received more than 100 get well soon cards and more than 40 e-mails from congregation members, Slaidburn Primary School and the local Brownie pack.

He said: “I have been overwhelmed with the level of support that I have received and it has helped me get better.

“I’m going to take it a lot slower now and I have been told to do a lot more exercise.

“This has been a massive shock for my wife and I and I don’t want to go through anything like this again.

“The parish has been looked after by various retired priests from the area and they have done a very good job.

“If my time in hospital has taught me anything it would be to let things go from time to time and not say yes to so many things.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality and I will be working hard to improve my health.”