A LONG-SERVING parish priest delivered his final mass on Sunday before his retirement.

Having taken over at St John’s Church in Cudworth on October 12, 1997, the popular figure has baptised more than 1,000 children and married 200-plus couples during his tenure.

His final mass was followed by a send-off party in his honour to mark his 26-year stint.

Birstall-born Fr David Nicholson, who attended a special celebration at Barnsley Town Hall last week alongside Mayor Coun Mick Stowe, paid tribute to the community.

He said: “I’ve loved my time here and I’ll be staying put as Cudworth’s truly my home.

“I’ll miss it and its stellar people immensely.”