A LONG-SERVING parish priest will deliver his final mass on Sunday before he retires.

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

He will oversee a mass at 5pm before a send-off party is held in his honour to mark his 26-year stint.

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

He told the Chronicle: “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.”