A RIBBLE Valley priest is set to retire 40 years to the day since he was ordained.

Father David Foster has been at St Peter and St Paul’s RC Church, in Rib-chester, for three years and will conduct his final ser-vice on Easter Sunday.

Fr Foster, 68, was ord-ained in 1974 at St Mary’s RC Church, in Clayton-le-Moors, after studying for the priesthood in Rome since 1970.

He was born in the Hyndburn town, and work-ed at Mullards in Black-burn before moving to Rome.

After being ordained, Fr Foster’s first appointment was at St Ann’s, in Black-burn, where he stayed for four years.

He then took up a teach-ing post at St Joseph’s College, in Upholland, near Wigan, before moving to St Columbus’s RC Church, in Bolton, after six years.

After just over two years, he was appointed to St Pet-er’s RC Church, in Mill Hill, Blackburn, and stay-ed there for 11 years before moving to Ribchester.

Fr Foster, who is plann-ing to move back to Clayton- le-Moors, said: “I’ve enj-oyed my time here in Rib-chester very much, and the people were so welcoming when I arrived.

“I shall miss them a lot because they are all extr-emely good people.

“I’m proud to have serv-ed in the church for 40 years, and I’m looking for-ward to enjoying the extra free time that I will have in retirement.

“I think it’s very fitting that I will retire exactly 40 years to the day that I was ordained. I really enjoyed my time teaching, and am still in contact with some of my old students now.

“Joining the priesthood seemed like a natural step for me as I was an altar boy at St Mary’s, in Clayton- le-Moors, and I also helped the priest out a lot.”