A LONG-serving Burnley vicar who was ‘loved by his congregation’ has died aged 82.

Tributes have been paid to Rev. Canon Bryan Robinson, who served at St Andrew with St Margaret and St James Church, in Colne Road, for 32 years.

He joined St Andrew’s in 1965 and was made an Honorary Canon in 1995, in recognition of his service to the Church of England.

He lived in Simonstone and also served as Rural Dean of Burnley from 1985 to 1991.

Born in Accrington in 1932, Canon Robinson studied history at Cambridge University, after completing national service in the army in Egypt.

He was ordained in 1958 and took up a seven-year curacy in Fleetwood, before moving to East Lancashire.

During his time in Fleetwood, Canon Robinson forged a friendship with the Rev. Brian Tonge, who was the junior curate. They also worked together in Burnley for 29 years, before both retiring in 1997.

Mr Tonge said: “He was a very devoted vicar, always very conscientious and willing to help out. He grew to love his congregation and his congregation loved him.”

Canon Robinson will also be remembered for launching a successful 25-year campaign to refurbish the ornate carvings behind the altar at St Andrew’s.

In the mid-1980s he started a fund to repair the screen, which dates back 112 years and was created by Charles Eamer Kempe.

The refurb was finally completed in 2010 after a grant from the Heritage Lottery grant helped reach the £32,000 funding target.

Father Peter Hapgood-Strickland, Canon Robinson’s successor, said: “He was always very helpful to me, providing background support. He was a lovely gentleman and very faithful to the gospel and to the church. And the parish always came first in his life.”

Dozens are expected to pay their respects at his funeral on Tuesday, with a Requiem Mass at St Andrew’s at 11am, followed by a cremation at Accrington at 1pm.