A chaplain who has served the community for more than a decade is retiring.

Chaplain Alan Casebow is stepping back from his position after serving the Basingstoke community for over 12 years.

For several years Alan has been in town on his mobility scooter, meeting and chatting with people.

He has been a friend and confident to many people over the years and will be missed by those who he met regularly, including at the Age Concern café on Wednesday mornings.

Alan said that his favourite part of his time as a chaplain was talking with members of the community.

He said: “I’ve had a very eventful life, and I’m just grateful to God for the life that I’ve had, and he’s given me.

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“I enjoyed being able to be with people and talk with them and help them sometimes.

“I’ll miss the regular contact with folks that I’ve met over the years.”

Despite stepping back from the chaplaincy, Alan stated that he will still try to be as involved with the group as he can be.

“I’ve felt my time had come to an end with the chaplaincy.

“But I’ve valued my time there, and I value the friendships that it’s given me.

“They’ve accepted the fact that I’m not going to be with them much.

“I will still contact them occasionally, when they have group discussions together.”

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Alan was also quick to point out the help that the chaplaincy gives the community, saying: “People get upset, people go through problems, and just need somebody to talk to or a shoulder to lean on.”

Despite Alan’s retirement, The Basingstoke Town Chaplaincy is ensuring that his position is not being left open for long.

New chaplains will be coming to Basingstoke to listen to and support anyone who wants a chat about any matter or concern.

Chaplains are trained in listening skills as well as knowing where help may be obtained for many different issues.

Chaplains wear distinctive uniforms in navy, grey or white during the summer months, and are easily identifiable.

Basingstoke will be able to see the new chaplains around town, or at Eastrop Live on June 18.

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