ONE of the region’s oldest students has picked up a research degree from Wrexham’s Glyndwr University.

The Rev Sidney Gilbert, 76, learned this week he had been awarded his master’s degree in philosophy.

The retired vicar drew on his own experiences and those of others to look at the lives of clergy once they had retired, focusing on such issues as hobbies, finance, housing and health and wellbeing.

A spokesman for Glyndwr University confirmed Mr Gilbert was one of the oldest students at the university during the last academic year.

Mr Gilbert, who was born in Wrexham and worked in Brymbo, Bwlchgwyn, Penley and Bettisfield during his career, now lives in Helsby.

He said he had thoroughly enjoyed carrying out the research, and hoped it would be useful to other clergymen and women once they reached retirement.

Mr Gilbert said: “I have been collecting material for over 10 years.

“When I started on this research there had been very little written on the subject, so I was breaking new ground in the material I was collecting.

“There were some unusual hobbies, but a lot of the people I spoke to devoted their time to activities which were related in some way to charity and to helping others.”

Mr Gilbert was joined by wife Gill at Glyndwr University to meet external examiners who passed his work, and he paid tribute to staff who he said had been ‘very supportive’ of his research.

Dr Emyr Williams, second supervisor on Mr Gilbert’s work, said: “We are extremely pleased that Sidney’s research has been passed by external examiners.

“The work he has carried out will inform activity on the MSc Psychology of Religion course at Glyndwr University.

“We wish Sidney every success in writing up his work for publication, and we look forward to working collaboratively with him on that.”