Holy spirits! Vicar swaps places with Ribble Valley landlord

Trading places - Martin and Stephen

Trading places - Martin and Stephen

First published in News

THE Rev Martin Duerden is getting into the spirit of things — by swapping jobs with the landlord at his local Ribble Valley pub.

And the congregation at St Peter’s CE Church, Salesbury, will be praying that licensee Stephen Costello proves an adequate replacement — because he is helping out with an upcoming Parish Communion.

The unlikely switch was touted after a discussion about a survey which found that members of the clergy enjoyed the most job satisfaction in the country, while publicans were the most unhappy workers.

Next month, the pair will put that conclusion to the test, with Mr Duerden helping out behind the bar at the Ribchester Road boozer, while Mr Costello delivers a speech at a special Songs of Praise event at the church, 200 yards up the road.

Mr Duerden, 59, will also put his cookery skills to the test by preparing more than 40 starters and desserts for a function at the Bonny Inn on September 6.

He said: “I was in the Bonny one night when the survey was mentioned and it’s just carried on from there. Steve said I should help him out and I agreed to do it.

“We’re both at the heart of the community and I hope it’s going to be a good weekend.”

Mr Costello, 45-year-old, originally from Knuzden, said: “I’m sure it will be good fun.

“We’ll be fundraising for the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity with a disco on the Saturday night.”

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