REVEREND Paul Rimmer, who has died aged 93, was a popular vicar who married, baptised and christened hundreds of people across the city.

Reverend Rimmer was vicar of St Nicholas Church in Old Marston for more than 30 years and was respected and loved by his flock.

From the joy of weddings to the sadness of funeral he played a vital role at the heart of the village.

Tributes have been paid by the many people he married, christened, baptised or helped over his six decades as a priest.

In 1990 he retired to Wolvercote but continued to preach occasionally at St Peter’s Church in the village until recently.

Paul Rimmer was born on April 12, 1925, in Ulverston, Cumbria, and grew up in the Lake District town with four brothers and one sister.

His father was Reverend J. Stuart Rimmer, Rector of Ulverston for 48 years.

He went to Ulverston Grammar School and later to Jesus College, Oxford, and Wycliffe Hall theological college.

In the latter years of the Second World War he trained as a pilot in Florida and Texas.

He had started going out with his future wife Joan Broadbent in their school days and they were married in 1949.

At this time he was Curate in Windermere before moving to Douglas on the Isle of Man, where his son Julian was born in 1951 and a daughter, Clare, followed two years later.

The family then moved to Ootacamund in South India and spent five years there as Rev Rimmer served a local church.

But when he put down roots in Marston in 1959 and became vicar of St Nicholas Church, Old Marston, he was determined to stay for the long haul - with his wife later becoming head of Iffley Mead School.

Renowned for his keen sense of humour, his exploits frequently made local news, and one stunt when he passed off a nephew as His Excellency the Emir of Tabaq to open the church bazaar hit the national headlines.

He also described stag nights as a ‘menace’ and urged husbands-to-be to rebel against the tradition after bridegrooms kept arriving at his church with injuries.

In 1978 he conducted his own son Julian’s wedding – to wife Imogen – in front of the entire parish.

He repeated the trick nine years later when his daughter Clare married her first husband Lt Cdr Tim Henry.

He also worked hard to raise money for the church’s vestry fund, including taking offers to shave his beard in 1977.

Celebrating 25 years in the parish in 1984, he told the Oxford Mail: “I love travel but of all the places I’ve been to, I love Marston best.

“I don’t have anything special planned for the future, I just want to go on working here, enjoying this wonderful village and its wonderful people.”

A full congregation listened intently to his final service as vicar of St Nicholas Church in June 1990 before he retired to Wolvercote.

Throughout his life he loved flying and would regularly go out in his microlight with his son around Oxfordshire. He also enjoyed painting and birdwatching.

Predeceased by his daughter Clare, who died in 2008 aged 54, he is survived by his wife, Joan, his son, Julian and three grandchildren, Benjamin, Joseph and Julie.

The funeral will take place at St Peter’s Church, Wolvercote on Tuesday, July 31, at noon.