A popular vicar held his last communion in front of a congregation of more than 250 people, before leaving his Ewell church after almost 20 years.

Canon Stuart Thomas celebrated his last Sunday at Ruxley Church, in Ruxley Lane, with an upbeat sermon followed by a drinks reception and buffet.

Rev. Thomas became vicar of the old St Francis of Assisi Parish Church, also in Ruxley Lane, in 1994.

The church had to be abandoned in 1997 after being declared unfit for public use, and the congregation joined with neighboring Ruxley Methodist Church before becoming an Ecumenical partnership in 2002.

In his time at Ruxley, Rev Thomas ministered an estimated 200 baptisms, 60 weddings, more than 400 funerals and 700 school assemblies, as well as giving 2000 sermons.

He is also an author and talented pianist.

Rev Thomas is leaving Ruxley to become rector of Frimley Church in Camberley.