Community bids farewell to popular vicar

Alister PalmerBy Sue Mackinnon

Popular vicar Alister Palmer is retiring and leaving the area after ten years spent helping the Knowle West community.

Vicar of St Barnabas and Holy Cross Churches, the Rev Palmer is also known for his work at The Mede (now Inns Court Centre) where he was Chair of Trustees for five years.

He says of his time in Knowle West: “It’s been a fantastic experience and a great place to end one’s work and ministry. It is a very exciting place to be and the people are wonderful.”

As a former Chair of the Regeneration Planning Group, Mr Palmer says he has always felt it important for ‘the community to be heard’.

And he says one of his highlights is helping to save the Inns Court Centre and a large number of homes from demolition in 2010.

“It would have been devastating if it had happened. People would have been dispersed. I’m now looking forward to it being a thriving centre.”

Another achievement Mr Palmer has seen in his time is the establishment of a Food Store in Inns Court in July 2012  – which he says was a response to a great need as ‘there are a lot of people in desperate circumstances due to benefit cuts’.

Mr Palmer will be moving to Whitchurch but will be back in December to see his dream fulfilled at the launch of the new Inns Court Centre, which will include a Day Nursery and refurbished café.

He says modestly: “My role is all these things is minor. It has been good to be part of it and work with great people over these years.”