MEETING Diana, Princess of Wales and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among the highlights fondly recalled by a priest who is celebrating 50 years since he was first ordained.
Retired priest Ian Ogilvie celebrated his milestone with a wine reception after taking a service on Sunday, June 2 at the church of St Peter and St Paul in Tring.
Highlights of his career include organising an open air service to be televised by the BBC, which was making a documentary on modern worship.
He played host to a visit by Archbishop Tutu in 1998, during the apartheid era.
“When he came we had a police guard outside the bishop’s house in St Albans because of death threats,” said Ian.
“He was the most wonderful man and had the most fantastic sense of humour.
“He’s one of the great men of the 20th century.”
During Ian’s time fundraising he met Princess Diana on a number of occasions and was always impressed by her.
“The great thing about her was she would always go and sit with the least attractive person in the room and talk to them.
“When she was patron of the British Deaf Association people loved that she learned some sign language for her visits and would always start her speech with a little of it.”
Ian started his career in South London where he held a youth club for young rockers during the 1970s.
In his 50 years he was never a vicar in a parish but instead he worked in education and charity work.
His work took him and his family on travels to Menorca, America and around the UK until they settled in Marsworth 10 years ago.
Ian, aged 75, still helps out with the Friends of Tring Church Heritage and takes services in the town and surrounding areas.
He plans to continue with his volunteering and is looking forward to celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with wife Jenny, in August.