A CITY-CENTRE church in York has ushered in the new holder of a role which has its roots in the history of law and order.

John Jessop has been installed as parish constable of All Saints on Pavement, a job which was a forerunner of the modern-day police force.

However, his duties will now include greeting the city’s civic party at the church door as well as other similar functions.

Having sworn an oath at his installation ceremony, Mr Jessop was presented with his robe by churchwarden James Finlay and with a ceremonial truncheon by the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Julie Gunnell.

The historic role of the parish constable is believed to have included apprehending criminals and bringing them before magistrates as well as “undertaking local punishment”, such as putting offenders in the stocks or the ducking stool.

The Rev Jane Nattrass, priest-in-charge of All Saints and other city-centre churches, said: “John is a well-respected member of the church and we are delighted he has accepted the invitation to become parish constable.”