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Clergyman at Bolton Abbey's Priory Church retires
7:00pm Monday 17th September 2012 in News
A clergyman who attempted to bring calm at the epicentre of Bradford’s 2001 riots is to celebrate his 40 years of ministry from the more peaceful surroundings of Bolton Abbey.
Canon George Moffat, rector of Bolton Abbey’s Priory Church, will retire at the beginning of October after five and a half years’ service to parishioners in Wharfedale .
His final service at the Priory will be on Sunday when he will celebrate and preach at the 10.30am Sung Eucharist.
Originally from Hawick, he started his ministry as a curate in Falkirk before doing voluntary work in Papua New Guinea, where he taught in a theological college.
After stints at Edinburgh University and West London, he moved to Yorkshire as vicar at South Emsall, near Barnsley, arriving “in time for the miners’ strike”.
As team rector in Manningham, Bradford, he was exposed to further civil disturbance with the riots that broke out in 1995 and 2001 and was one of a small group of people who attempted to bring about calm. He was later commended by a senior judge. During his time in Bradford he was appointed honorary chaplain to the Queen.
In 2007, he was appointed rector of Bolton Abbey, overseeing a large and active congregation and thousands of casual visitors each year.
He has introduced a number of innovations, including the For Better For Worse club for those about to be married and a liquid family worship for children and young families. He has also initiated plans to expand the Priory buildings to accommodate increased musical activity.
Canon Moffat and his wife, Peta - the couple first met on a canoe in Borneo - are moving to the Forest of Dean to be nearer to their two adult daughters.