PARISHES said farewell to the Rector of Wimborne Minster and the Northern Villages ahead of her move to Essex.

The Revd Canon Vanessa Herrick presided and preached at the parish eucharist service in Wimborne Minster for the last time on Sunday (30 July).

She is moving onto her new appointment as Archdeacon of Harlow in the Diocese of Chelmsford.

The service was attended by members of the Minster congregation and the Northern Villages.

The singing was led by the alternative choir with the director of music David Gostick on the organ.

On conclusion of the service various presentations were made by churchwardens Francis Vine and De Ashton.

The rector and her husband, Revd David Herrick, said they intend to purchase some garden furniture to use in their garden at their new home in Essex with the gift presented to them.

Peter Cook, secretary of the Friends of Wimborne Minster, paid tribute to the rector for the time she has been chairman of the Friends and announced members had proposed Vanessa be appointed as a vice president of the Friends.

The rector expressed thanks to all those who had helped and supported her in the five and a half years she has been Rector of Wimborne Minster and more recently also of the Northern Villages.

In her final sermon, Vanessa made reference to her first sermon in the Minster pulpit which focused on the image of a train journey.

"My prayer as I leave this place, as I get off the train, is that you will together go on remembering that you are simply the construction hut on the building site," Vanessa said.

"You are not the ultimate purpose of it all. But you have a hugely important role to play.

"As I said in that first sermon back in February 2012, it’s not about the church. It’s not about us. It’s all about God. And it’s all about bringing in his kingdom in our small corner of his world."

Following the presentations a farewell lunch, which had been prepared by Sheila Soper and her helpers, was served with the event concluding the rector cut a cake in the shape of a book, topped with a message to Vanessa and David.

The service for Vanessa’s collation and installation as Archdeacon of Harlow will be held in Chelmsford Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday September 24.