DOUBLE celebrations were held at a Hereford church which has served the community for 175 years to mark two special anniversaries.

St Nicholas' Church was previously based on King Street, at the junction with Bridge Street, with the earliest records dating back to the 12th century.

However, in around 1840 it was found to be in a bad state of repair and the Victorians decided to take it down and build a new church.

The foundations of the new Friars Street-based church were laid in April 1841 and it was consecrated during a service in August 1842 – 175 years ago.

One man who knows how special the church is, is Preb. Revd. Rob North who has himself marked 25 years as incumbent there this year.

He said: "I arrived just after the 150 year anniversary. I think the most important thing for me has been the way in which I have been able to be part of the community and the privilege it's been to serve the community – at high points with weddings and baptisms and celebrations and in sad times when people have lost family or friends. And also the way in which I have been welcomed by other members of the clergy."

Mr North, 63, who was ordained at Hereford Cathedral in 1981, said there have been some changes in terms of liturgy and services over the years and the church now runs events like 'Messy Church', while maintaining a strong choral tradition.

He said: "We also encourage children from Lord Scudamore to come and take part and we try to be an open church – everyone is welcome."

To celebrate the two anniversaries, a service was held which was attended by Bishop Michael Hooper, who was incumbent when Mr North was a trainee. A new tapestry produced for the church anniversary celebration was also blessed.

St Nicholas' Church is part of the West Hereford Ministry which also includes St Michael's in Breinton, All Saints and Holy Trinity.