BARROW’s long-serving leader of The Salvation Army is leaving his post after more than seven years of helping the community.

Captain Martin Davidson is bidding farewell to his post as the leader of the charity's Barrow branch to take up a new role for the Christian organisation in Salisbury.

Captain Davison has become the longest-serving officer the town has had, with the church usually changing its leaders every two or three years.

He described the past seven years as ‘both an exciting and challenging time’ serving the community.

He said: “We have faced challenges with our old building and maintaining our policy of keeping our doors open every day to serve the community, but it has become such a valued facility that in creative and at times innovative ways we have been able to keep that presence alive.

“The church has been particularly blessed with new members during my stay and we have also adapted well to the changing needs of our neighbourhoods. It’s been a steep learning curve for me at times.

“We are so diverse in what we try to do here so that you are required fulfil many different roles to keep the centre running smoothly with its team of volunteers.

“Trying to show love and understanding every day is not always easy, but you learn to utilise the skills available. Barrow will always be in my heart.”

Highlights for Captain Davidson have included seeing volunteers with issues of low personnel esteem coming to the centre and becoming skilled and confident enough to gain paid employment elsewhere.

Captain Davidson will be replaced by Lieutenants Jonny and Kat Whitmore.