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Reverend Allan Hughes retires
A VICAR who worked as a stand-up comedian, a pop musician and a Redcoat at Butlins before becoming a man of the cloth has retired.
The Reverend Allan Hughes, who has worked in York for 17 years, had a remarkably varied career before settling in the city and becoming a popular and well-known vicar.
Father Hughes studied theology while working as an entertainer at Butlins in Bognor Regis, where he made his way through the ranks compering the Bonny Baby and Glamorous Granny competitions, later becoming a stand-up comic performing with Cilla Black, Ken Dodd and Matt Monro.
Father Hughes’ career also led him to record backing vocals for Rolf Harris on Have You Got A Light, Boy? at Abbey Road studios. He also made his own record on the Decca label and worked as a director on cruise ships travelling the world.
But his studies in theology have underpinned most of his career, which saw him work as a performer in his summer breaks from being a teacher of religious studies.
Father Hughes said: “Life has never been boring. Where I have been really lucky is that I have the love and support of my family. I have an amazing wife in Annette and two great daughters.
“The secret to such a varied career is being open to change. I never thought I would go into the priesthood.”
About retiring, he said: “I’m sad and happy at the same time.
“I have found the last two weeks very difficult. It’s a privilege to be a priest but particularly in York city centre.
“We have some amazing priests in York who I will miss very much.”
Grandfather-of-one Fr Hughes came to York in 1995 when he became junior chaplain at St Peter’s School. In 2004, he took on the role of priest pastor of York city-centre parishes including All Saints, Pavement, St Denys’ Church, Walmgate, St Olave’s, Marygate, St Martin’s and St Helen’s.
Among other roles, Fr Hughes has also worked as the chaplain for York Theatre Royal, The Press and YACRO.
But he said he is not intending to completely put his feet up.
He still intends to do occasional weddings as well as working as assistant director of ordinands, helping new priests to explore their vocation.
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