Paul Knight (vicar, 1997 – 2020)

Paul J Knight, vicar of St Peter's
Paul Knight

Paul was our vicar for 23 years, overseeing some of the most significant events in recent church, local, and international history.

He was brought up in the Midlands and thought Sheffield was in the far North until he came to Birstall!

Here, in his own words, he reflects on the many changes seen in the church during his time with us:

The Fellowship Area was created during the interregnum just before I arrived. I did, however, push ahead for plans to cover and carpet the stone aisles, remove pews from the side aisles, create the Tower Room and develop the kitchen, servery and museum areas.

We also completed three phases of major repairs on the fabric of the building (at a total cost of over three quarters of a million pounds). Perhaps the proudest physical achievement was the restoration of the Frampton Mural, which had been an on-going project over the whole 23 years.

During my time we inaugurated the Good Friday ‘cross drag’; the schools Festival of Music; Candle-lit Carol Service; Christmas Eve Crib Service; the Easter Tomb; Harvest Supper; Armistice Day ‘Act of Remembrance’; Bridge luncheon club; All Soul’s Day Service; Community Bonfire Celebration; Christmas & Craft Fayre; Summer Garden Fete; Holy Week Meditations; Messy Church; Murder Mystery evenings; Maundy Thursday Service & Supper; Community Carol Singing in the Market Place, amongst other things.

I would want my legacy to be that all, or at least some, of these continue in some way or another.

Unfortunately, although we had planned to ring in the Millenium, we had to abandon ringing when it was discovered that there was loose masonry on the tower which ringing might dislodge.

Paul Knight, reflecting on his 23 years at St Peter’sBirstall
Annette Knight, wife of the vicar
Annette Knight

Of course, no vicar works alone. Paul was supported by his wife Annette, who took on responsibility for the planning of meals and running the kitchen for regular groups such as the Bridge project, and for special events. Annette also sang in the music group, and was always ready to help with the many other activities which happened around church.

Paul and Annette have retired to Wales, where Annette was born, and we wish them a long and happy retirement.

Final words

Here is a video Paul recorded for us which reflects on his 23 years in Birstall.