COLNE has welcomed a new member of the clergy to help cover a shortage in the parish.

The Rev John Knott is to serve for six months as a self-supporting Curate in the Colne and villages team, living in Christ Church vicarage .

Concern had been raised about a shortage of clergy after a third priest announced, in September, he is set to leave the parish.

The Rev Tony Rindl, Team Rector for Colne and villages parish and Area Dean, is moving to pastures new in Watford after Christmas.

He is the third priest to leave the parish in seven months following the Rev Priestly Brook retiring in August, and the Rev Chris Sterry moving to Gloucestershire in May.

John will work with Mr Rindl, and his colleagues, the Rev Jim Crawford and the Rev Cath Braithwaite.

John said: “I was born and grew up in Lancashire and am delighted to be returning, to serve God as part of the Colne and villages team ministry. The friendly and warm welcome I have received has really touched me. I had forgotten how open and friendly folk are in this part of the country.”