A MEMORIAL service has been held by schoolchildren and staff for a former North Tyne vicar.

Revd. Steve Wilkinson, vicar of Humshaugh, Simonburn and Wark, and Rural Dean of Bellingham Deanery, died on April 4 last year after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Pupils at Humshaugh Church of England First School have now paid their respects in a moving service to the popular vicar, who was also their chair of governors.

As part of the service, children read a special prayer they’d written, sang some of Steve’s favourite songs and unveiled a bench for the playground in his honour.

In a social media post from the Diocese of Newcastle, Church of England, Steve was described as a “wonderful priest who touched the lives of so many.”

Hundreds of memorial ribbons were placed throughout Wark, Simonburn and Humshaugh to remember the 55-year-old when he died. Residents also paid their respects from their doorsteps - owing to Covid restrictions - as the funeral cortege passed through the area.

Steve took up his role in the North Tyne in 2016 after serving in the police force for 27 years.

He had also worked for the counter terrorism unit, lecturing at University of Chester and University of Central Lancashire.

His first role as a clergymen was as a chaplain to the police while he was still serving but after retiring from the force, he went into the church full time and moved to Cramlington in 2011.