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Article from local newspaper February 1973 transcribed by Raylee Burton

Restored church is his legacy
Photograph of Rev Derek Hole

The Rev Derek Hole won’t just leave his name in the records when he departs from Burton Latimer after Easter to take up his position at Leicester.

He will leave behind him as a constant monument, what he hopes to be a fully re-ordered and restored parish church.

And with it, a loyal congregation, and an efficient church council.

In his five years at Burton Latimer, the bachelor Rector has seen his weekly congregation grow to three figures and the establishment of a parish communion.

But what he feels is perhaps his greatest achievement – and the cause to which he has devoted most of his energy – is the restoration of the church buildings.

He remembers his feeling when he first saw the church and admits his first reaction was to pack up and leave.

Great help

But he stayed to see the church almost completely restored and now needing only the cleaning and restoration of the organ to crown the work of the past five years.

He admits he has been helped tremendously by an efficient and loyal parochial church council who have backed up and helped with his plans and projects, and by the churchwardens and officers.

On the pastoral side of things, he feels perhaps his most important contribution has been the establishment of a parish communion.

And in a successful effort to bring members of the congregation – which now numbers about 100 every Sunday morning – closer together, he introduced coffee and biscuits get togethers after the services.

He has also shown great tact and understanding in dealing with some of the problems that have arisen in the parish, not the least of which was the closure for Sunday worship of the town’s Mission Room.

He feels now that perhaps his involvement in the restoration of the church led to him becoming isolated from some sectors of the parish.

New challenge

It’s a snag  which he hopes his replacement won’t come up against.

He leaves when there are plans for a new parish hall and office and hopes that the county council will take over the Mission Room as a centre for youth activities in town, for which there was a great need.

And in his appointment to Leicester, he sees another challenge – and one  which he wholeheartedly welcomes.

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