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Reverend David Jackson of St Paul's Lutheran Church and his wife Adria bid farewell to Borehamwood
The pastor of a Lutheran church has said how sad he will be to leave the community that welcomed him with open arms.
Reverend David Jackson has cared for the congregation of St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cranes Way for six years.
He and his wife Adria are returning to Halifax in Canada at the end of this month, where he will take up a post as a chaplain with the Royal Canadian Navy.
The former naval officer said he was reluctant to leave Borehamwood and the friends he had made, but felt he had been called by God to move on.
He added: “My wife and I are very sad to go. We have got to know so many people.
“It has not been easy to go at all. I felt it was God calling me to do the navy chaplaincy and I am following that call.
"I am happy and sad about moving on.”
Rev Jackson is the son of a military chaplain and he said his father’s example had made him “open” when he was approached for the role.
He added: “I was also influenced to take on this position by my work as chaplain for the Mill Hill, Edgware and Borehamwood Sea Cadets, which I found very rewarding.”
Rev Jackson has been very active in Borehamwood life, particularly with organisations such as the Borehamwood and Elstree Twin Town Association and Borehamwood Brass Band.
He added: “One thing I’ve noticed over the past six years is the growth of community spirit in the town.
“It’s a lovely village feel here, you can get to know everyone. I can walk down the high street and meet three or four people I know in a very short distance.
“It’s a really nice feeling; I’ve never lived anywhere where I had that before.”
Mrs Jackson has also bean heavily involved in the community. As well as teaching music, she has organised concerts and the children’s choir.
The couple said having to say goodbye to so many people throughout the last month had been "very tough."
Rev Jackson added: “I have been overwhelmed at how many people have wanted to do farewells with us.
“The council has organised lunch on Friday. We had a farewell with the Borehamwood Brass Band on Saturday which was very enjoyable.”
The pastor added a temporary replacement had been found for him, and the life of the congregation would continue as before.
Mrs Jackson added: "I like the weather and I’ve loved having the opportunity to help develop the culture in Borehamwood.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling to go. We’ve made so many friends here and we’ll definitely be coming back."
Rev Jackson’s last service at St Paul’s Church will be on Sunday, and there will be a reception afterwards.
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