Our new curate, Christopher Phillips, has wasted no time getting to know his new parishioners. Within hours of his ordination as deacon at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday he attended Evensong at our church – barely a mile from his new Ilkley home – and afterwards celebrated his life-changing day at a reception in the Parish Hall.

His new 'boss', Fr Philiip, explained that this will be a transitional year for Durham-born Christopher prior to his ordination to the priesthood next year. During that time he will carry out the liturgical duties of deacon and also visit the sick, housebound and the lonely. This is a vital new beginning for Christopher, said.Fr Philip, the fulfilment of a long period of formation and training.

For the past three years he and his wife Hannah and their three children, Peter, Aidan and Catherine, who all attended Christopher's ordination by Bishop Nicholas Baines, have lived at Ripon College, Cuddeston, near Oxford, while he has been undertaking his academic, spiritual and practical formation for the ministry.

'Now he moves to Ilkley to live the life of the ordained, serving the Church and the people, fulfilling the disciplines which the ordained life requires in prayer and devotion,' said Fr Philip. In recent years Christopher has worked for Durham University Students' Union and a national youth homeless charity.

Mike Casey