PAST and present parishioners attended a 50th birthday celebration for their Andover church.

St Michael’s West Andover, in Colebrook Way, marked the milestone last Saturday, with a congregation of more than 150 past and present members, including Cubs, Scouts, local dignitaries and those who were at the dedication service 50 years ago.

The service was conducted by Michael Harley, archdeacon of Winchester Cathedral, and six other clergy including Reverend David King and Chris Rankine, who between them were vicars at the church for about 33 of the church’s 50 years.

The service was followed by a hog roast in the grounds of the church along with a birthday cake supplied by local baker Steve Burbidge, whose great-grandfather helped fund the church’s roof.

There are more events planned for the special year including a quiz and cream tea in June, a prom concert by Andover Town Band in July, a car treasure hunt and barbecue in August, a flower festival in September and a barn dance.

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