The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev Christopher Lowson, was in Market Rasen last week to commission the new Rural Dean of West Wold.
Church members from across the deanery came together in St Thomas’s Church for the service, which saw the Rev Stephen Johnson take over the role from the Rev Canon Ian Robinson.
The Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey, the Ven Mark Steadman, assisted at the service, which was also attended by members of the clergy and lay ministry from across the deanery.
During the service, a presentation was made to Canon Robinson for his work as dean over the past 16 years.
In thanking him for his work, acting lay chairman of the deanery Quin Hough said: “Canon Ian is a great example of a Christian gentleman.
“The title Rural Dean of the West Wold Deanery of Lincoln gives a sort of Thomas Hardy image, but really the past 16 years have been difficult times.
“The deanery has been through a period of great turbulence and it has fallen to Canon Ian to look after a string of vacancies - the Swallow Group has had vacancies for 20 of the last 30 years.
“All things are loaded onto the Rural Dean.
“But Canon Ian has remained almost unfailingly cheerful - ask anyone who he has helped.
“A debt of thanks must also go to Christine (Canon Ian’s wife).”
Mrs Robinson was presented with a bouquet of flowers and Canon Robinson with vouchers for an electrical store.
“Thank you so much - it has been a joy,” said Canon Robinson.
“I have had some wonderful colleagues to work beside and I would particularly like to thank Canon Judy for her help and support.”
The Rt Rev Lowson added his thanks to those already given to Canon Robinson.
“I am very grateful as bishop for all Ian has done.
“He has contributed in his own style over the years.”
The Bishop went on to welcome the new dean to the role.
“I am delighted Stephen has agreed to take on the role,” he said.
“Stephen will bring many gifts - his pastoral care, his wisdom and administrative competence.”
The West Wold Deanery covers an area of more than 250 square miles and is currently made up of the Walesby, Middle Rasen, Caistor, Kelsey, Swallow, Market Rasen and Barkwith Groups of Churches.
The Rev Johnson will also remain Priest-in-Charge of Market Rasen, Lissington, Linwood and Legsby.
One of the Rev Johnson first major jobs will be to give support and guidance to the Walesby Group of churches, whose Rector, the Rev Canon John Carr, will be retiring at the end of April.