A CHURCH’S 50th anniversary brought together old friends who had not seen each other for many years.

Hundreds visited Christ Church on Stockton Lane to explore its past and to worship at a special service exactly 50 years after it was first opened.

The building, which also contains a hall and other rooms, held an exhibition of photos and other items as part of a 50-year timeline and organisers ran a car treasure hunt so visitors could explore the parish it serves.

Several of those who attended encountered friends and others they had not seen for many years, and a bricklayer was in the building for the first time since he helped build it.

“It has been brilliant,” said the current vicar, Rev Paul Deo. “A lot of people have reconnected with each other because of what they have in common – Christ Church.”

On Sunday many of the clergy and key members of the parish between 1964 and 2014 joined about 200 worshippers for morning service where Canon Emeritus John Young, formerly of York Minster, preached.

Afterwards the Rev Paul Deo, and the very first priest of Christ Church, the Rev Paul Rathbone unveiled a specially commissioned mosaic which will be a permanent memento of the occasion.