Longest-serving vicar honoured at service in Oxfordshire

The Reverend James Cocke The Reverend James Cocke was ordained 60 years ago and has been at All Saints Church since 1957

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The longest-serving vicar in the Church of England is to be honoured at a service in Oxfordshire.

The Reverend James Cocke was ordained 60 years ago and has been at All Saints Church in Headington since 1957.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is to pay tribute to Mr Cocke a service at the church in his honour later.

The Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, described Mr Cocke as a "national treasure".

"He's done over 50 years at the same church which is pretty remarkable and 60 years of ministry in total," he said.

"So there aren't many people like Jim around, so we see him as some kind of national treasure.

"It's been quite a remarkable time."

Mr Cocke said: "I became vicar of All Saints Highfield in Headington in 1957.

"Oof those 60 years as a priest in the Church of England, I have spent 56 years in the parish of All Saints where I have been very happy indeed to serve a long Anglican ministry."

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