A former Ham vicar has decided to take up an early retirement in order to teach new tai chi classes at YMCA Hawker.

Paul Dunn, 62, who worked at St Richard’s CofE Church in Ashburnam Road, has now become a qualified gym instructor for older adults following an early retirement.

In a change of career, he now wants to help people improve their wellbeing and learn new skills in what he believes is an “expansive” and “popular” activity.

Mr Dunn said: “Tai chi is expansive, so having the class outside when the weather is nice is great.

“The place is so embracing of people and relationships, which makes teaching here at YMCA Hawker just an absolute delight.

“I focus on the wellbeing aspect rather than the martial art. I do explain what each move means and its martial art context, so that people understand what they are doing.”

Despite having only taught tai chi at YMCA Hawker for three months, he has been involved in the practice for more than 30 years.

He believes the practice is a “long-term investment” as there is “always something new to discover”.

The new tai chi class at YMCA Hawker, in Lower Ham Road, is now available on Tuesday mornings from 9am to 10am.