Pastures new for community hero
“THE heart is set to be ripped out of Mytholmroyd” when a popular community figure leaves next month.
Canon James Allison, who has led St Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd and St John The Baptist in Cragg Vale for 14 years, is moving on to pastures new in Coley.
Canon Allison, who has overseen major building work at St Michael’s and chaired and sat on key committees in the Calder Valley, said he was looking forward to the new challenge, but will miss the friendly community.
“I have been here for 14 years, which is a long stint,” he said. “I am the longest serving vicar at St John’s for over 100 years and the joke is that the only people who have been here longer than me have head stones! I’m at the age where it’s time for another adventure and the churches here are in a good place, with good people to lead them.”
Canon Allison will leave big shoes to fill, having not only represented the church, but also carried out work in the community, including: chairing the governors’ body at Scout Road Academy, chairing the Elmet Trust, chairing upper Calder Valley Renaissance and more. He was also a town councillor for 12 years, serving as Mayor of Hebden Royd between 2004 and 2005.
Canon Allison, who also ran a youth club at Calder High School and set up parent and toddler groups at his churches, said: “The hardest things to walk away from will be the connections and friendships that I have with people. But, if I have any legacy, it will be that there are now people here who know they can do stuff and change things.”
Canon Allison is widely respected in the community, according to Coun Scott Trickett - one of his parishioners.
“James’s community involvement over the years has been phenomenal,” he said. “He will leave a bit of a hole in our community, but his new area will benefit immensely because he is that kind of character.”
Canon Allison’s final service at St Michael’s will be from 4pm on Sunday, October 14, followed by coffee at 5pm.
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