TRIBUTES have been pouring in to the family of a 'kind and generous' clergyman after his death.

Reverend John Hallows had been vicar of Barrowford and Newchurch in Pendle until he retired in 2016.

However he came out of retirement in December 2017 to be the part-time vicar of Gisburn, a role he held until his death at the end of last month age 67.

His wife Tracy Hallows, headteacher of Wheatley Lane VA Primary School in Fence, praised how welcoming parishioners were to the couple, and the support they have offered since his death.

She said: "The number of tributes and messages has been overwhelming.

"John touched the lives of so many and his faith and love of God has spread far and wide.

"No one can begin to understand why god called John home at this time but he is in the presence of his loving heavenly father."

Rev Hallows was born at the military hospital in Tidworth to parents Eileen and Albert and he has an older sister, Margaret.

He had two children himself, Ruth and Daniel, with his first wife Clare and was 'so very proud' of his children.

He had previously been a teacher, until he reigned from his post as a deputy head at a school in London in 1994 to study to be a priest.

In 2001 the family moved to Lancashire and he became the vicar of St Thomas’ Barrowford and St Mary’s Newchurch in Pendle, where he served until his retirement in 2016.

Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley then asked him to consider the post at St Mary the Virgin, Gisburn, and in December 2017 John was licensed as priest at St Mary’s.

Rt Rev. North, along with Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn issued a joint statement paying tribute to Rev Hallows.

It said: “Rev John Hallows was outstanding in his commitment and love for his people.

"He was a kind and generous pastor and a clear, biblical preacher with a strong desire to make new disciples for Jesus Christ.

“The energy he gave to ministry seemed to increase as he grew older."