A STALWART of Barnsley has taken his position as the vicar of two local parishes.

Blair Radford was inducted as the head of St Peter and St John the Baptist as well as the parish of St Mary Magdalene yesterday by the Bishop of Wakefield, Rt Revd Tony Robinson.

His new title signifies the end of an eight-year-long journey, where Fr Radford has trained with and shown his dedication to the church following him stepping down from military service.

He told the Chronicle: “I started the process back in 2015 - I spent three years researching in Oxford for my theology degree.

“Then I spent another three years at St Paul’s in Monk Bretton - in September 2021 I took charge of these churches.

“That’s still seen as another probation period, the whole thing goes on longer than people think.”

His commitment to supporting the people of Barnsley and his work within the church has finally paid off, and Fr Radford hopes that his new responsibilities won’t only be an achievement for him but also a positive sign for the areas he works in.

“First of all, I’m just happy that it’s happening,” he added.

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“This is what I’ve wanted since the start of this journey, it’s God’s calling for me.

“But it’s also good for my parishes - to have this commitment is a great sign of stability.

“Usually this probation period takes three years but for me it’s only been two - I hope that reflects my level of competency.

“It’s especially important for the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Lundwood, they’ve not had a vicar for nearly 15 years so I’m happy to take that role.”