VOLUNTEER lifesavers have named their new training room after a "wonderful" vicar who held outdoor services on horseback.
The Rev Peter Murphy, who died in 2021 aged 81, was the chaplain at the Calshot RNLI lifeboat station in the 1980s, when he was Vicar of Hythe.
After transferring to St Michael and All Angels Church in Lyndhurst, he returned to the Hythe area and rejoined the team.
Known as Murf, he was one of the most colourful characters in the New Forest.
In scenes reminiscent of one of his favourite TV shows, The Vicar of Dibley, he often officiated on horseback, included donkeys in his services, and worked alongside his dog Sinner.
He was a keen sailor who baptised a baby on a yacht in the Solent and married a couple on the Hythe Ferry.
After he died Shelley Wilson, the daughter of a friend, set up a JustGiving page in his memory and donated the proceeds to Calshot RNLI.
The money has been used to convert an under-utilised area into a training area called Murf's Room.
It includes foldaway tables large enough to accommodate charts used by the crew, plus a new projector and screen to enable group training sessions to take place via the RNLI's online platform.
Two comfortable chairs allow crew members to take a well-earned break or talk on a one-to-one basis in a more informal setting.
Murf’s widow Trish said: "Whenever the pager went off, Peter would always check on the status of the boats. When he saw them coming back he would make his way down in case it had been a tough job and any crew needed support.
"Often that support would be to sit and listen - he viewed himself as a shepherd watching over his returning flock.
"Peter also had the pleasure of marrying members of the crew as well as baptising their children.
"He also went afloat to administer the scattering of ashes until his health deteriorated, after which he trained crew to perform the task, whilst participating from shore via radio."
Murf’s friends and family attended the official opening of the training room.
Jane Banting, Calshot RNLI's lifeboat operations manager, gave a speech after which the new facility was blessed by the current chaplain, the Rev Barry James.
Jane said: "The fact it's 'Murf’s Room' is a fitting tribute to a wonderful man who did so much."