THE congregation of Coley parish church has received an early Christmas present in the form of a new vicar.
Reverend Canon James Allison, who has been a familiar face in the Wakefield Diocese for many years, will begin his new post at St John the Baptist in time for the festive season.
The congregation, who have been without their own clergy for almost a year, are said to be delighted with the appointment.
Churchwarden Lesley Bigham said: “James comes to us with a whole wealth of experience; a strong desire to nurture and help us grow and a gift for reaching out to the wider community.
“We will give him and his wife Catherine a very warm welcome. We’d also like to thank all the visiting clergy and members of the congregation who have helped us through our time since the Rev Mark Madeley left for his new post in the West Country.”
Rev Allison has led St Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd and St John The Baptist in Cragg Vale for 14 years.
A special service has been held to welcome Rev Allison attended by the congregation, Coley residents as well as the Bishop of Pontefract Tony Robinson and local dignitaries.
A warm welcome is extended to anyone who would like to meet Rev Allison over Christmas.
Services include: 4pm Christingle on December 16; Crib service for the very young at 4pm on Christmas Eve; Carols and lessons by candlelight at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve and Midnight Communion at 11.30pm; Christmas Day services are at 9am and 10.30am.