Revving Reverend Timothy Lipscomb is set for a rapid exit out of Preston . . . never to return.
The petrolhead parson, who admits to worshipping speed as well as God, will be roaring off into the sunset on Tuesday after a life in the ecclesiastical fast lane.
But the Vicar of Preston has vowed not to set foot in the city again as a mark of respect for his successor.
“I can’t come back, because when you leave you leave,” said Fr Timothy. “Protocol doesn’t allow me to return - unless I am asked to come back for some occasion. And even then I would have to ask permission from the parish priest.”
Fr Timothy takes his final service in the Minster on Sunday, followed by two smaller services on his last day - Halloween. After 12 years in the job it will be an emotional farewell. But once he has packed up his belongings he will be off to the relative tranquility of North Wales where he plans to enjoy his collection of classic vehicles, write a couple of books, do a spot of cooking and maybe take up the offer of TV voice-overs for Channel 4.
Such is his popularity that no fewer than 23 leaving parties have been organised in his honour by various groups sorry to see him go.
“It’s very, very kind of everyone,” he said. “It’s very touching. I will be sorry to leave everyone, but it’s time to move on. And when I leave it will be fast. I don’t like doing things slowly, I do everything fast. I work fast, cook fast and, above all, drive fast. I like quick. Speed is the essence.
“People who say they are going and don’t just drive me mad. I don’t want to be that. It’s time to go. At 65 I’m past my sell-by date and by next week I will be nothing more than a small statistic in the life of Preston.”