As a former clergymen of Barrow I grew to love the town and its people over the 14 years period in which I served the town and its community, first as Curate on Barrow Island and then as Vicar of St Francis Ormsgill.

I loved Barrow and its people, for the first time in my life I felt in coming to Barrow that I had put down real roots and felt very much at home.

Barrow is where the Lakes touches the sea, surrounded by such beautiful scenery and only 40 minutes from the Lakes with some of the most stunning views in the country.

Barrow itself is unique in its proud identity and sense of community.

I have lived in many places none compares with the friendliness of Barrovians, they really are warm and friendly down to earth genuine people who enriched my life and my ministry.

When ever I went on Holiday and returned to the town, it was always comforting see signs pointing me to the A590, because I know I am nearly home.

Home really is where the heart is and my heart was most definitely was in Barrow and to be honest I didn’t want to move.

I reluctantly moved to Newcastle in 2008 simply because the diocese of Carlisle didn’t want to retain me as one of its priests, even though the then Mayor of Barrow told them they didn’t want to lose me.

Having said that we settled down very well in Newcastle and love living here. However, you can take the person out of Barrow but you can not take Barrow out the person.

In many ways my heart is still in Barrow, I love reading about my old town and its people through the on line edition of the Mail, it keeps me in touch with a town that I am still very fond off, I also keep in touch with people from my old parish through social media.

When I first came to Newcastle my then Bishop every time he saw me asked me the same question 'Mark have you finally left Barrow behind' to which I would always reply ‘Barrow will be forever in my heart'.

My twin boys who have just turned 17 where born at FGH, my older son and daughter went from Park View School to university, both of them graduating with good degrees.

I have many fond memories of living in Barrow. It's hard to explain to people just what makes Barrow unique, the town has many hidden gems, but the most important gem of them all is its people, they make the town.

Father Mark Edwards MBE, former curate and vicar of Barrow 1995-2008.