A WARMINSTER clergyman is celebrating his golden jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood.

The Rev Eric Littler was ordained as a priest in the Church of England 50 years ago on Trinity Sunday, June 16.

Father Eric, who lives in Minster Hall, Pound Row, Warminster, is now an honorary assistant priest at Christ Church in Frome, although he has also helped out at many parish churches in the area.

Born in Liverpool, he joined the Royal Engineers Staff Band as a musician in 1951 and was involved in making music in both the Military Band and Symphony Orchestra at Chatham.

He later went to the Rochester Theological College before being made a Deacon in 1968 before his ordination in 1969.

Father Eric served in Welwyn Garden City and various parishes in Wigan, Westcliff on Sea, East Tilbury and Great Oakley, as well as being Rural Dean for Thurrock.

After retiring in 2002, he and his wife Suzette moved to Warminster, from where he has helped out in about 80 churches across the area, as well as in Europe.

He is well known to many people as an avid phillumenist or collector of matchbox labels.

He and his wife have five children, eight grandchildren and five (almost six) great-grandchildren.

Most Sundays finds him still taking services, often in smaller village churches that no longer have a resident incumbent.