THE Bishop responsible for Craven paid her first visit to the area last weekend to take part in two important events.

The Right Reverend Anna Eltringham, Bishop of Ripon, joined the Venerable Jonathan Gough, Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven, in North Craven for services in Langcliffe and in Giggleswick marking the creation of a new benefice.

The bishop presided at the service of Holy Communion at St Alkelda's Church, Giggleswick to mark the joining together of the three parishes of Settle , Giggleswick, and Rathmell with Wigglesworth in the new Castleberg Benefice.

Long-standing priest in charge, Rev Julie Clarkson, was also upgraded to vicar of the three parishes in the service marking significant milestones in the life of the churches.

Members of the new benefice were challenged and uplifted by Bishop Anna's charge that they continue to reach out, in love, to their local communities, offering care and support.

Later Bishop Anna celebrated with the parishioners of Rev Stephen Dawson, as he also became the vicar of the parishes of Langcliffe, Stainforth and Horton in Ribblesdale.

At Langcliffe Church, parishioners saw Rev Dawson who has been serving as Priest in Charge at Langcliffe, Stainforth and Horton for nine years become the area vicar.

There were two parts to the service - the institution of Rev Dawson as incumbent at the Benefice of Langcliffe with Stainforth and Horton in Ribblesdale by the Rt Rev Eltringham, and his induction by the Ven Jonathan Gough, Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven.

Afterwards 92-year old Doris Cairns of Settle presented Bishop Anna with a copy of her book 'Wildlife in a Churchyard' which includes her paintings and photographs and fascinating text about the wild plants and wildlife in Giggleswick churchyard.

Bishop Anna said: β€œIt was wonderful to visit vibrant communities who are committed to Christian worship in such a stunning part of the Ripon Episcopal Area.

"It was good to give thanks for their clergy and all who minister with them and look forward together to the light coming into our dark world which we celebrate in the birth of Jesus and the hope that Christmas brings.”