A NEW vicar has arrived in Carlisle.

Reverend Richard Goodfellow has been officially installed as priest-in-charge of the parish of St Elisabeth’s, which covers areas including Harraby, Durranhill and Carleton Grange.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Reverend James Newcome, led Monday (23 Sept) evening’s licensing service at the church in Harraby, joining regular members of its congregation and guests to welcome 42-year-old Richard to the area.

Dignitaries who attended included the Mayor of Carlisle, councillor Marilyn Bowman, and headteacher Debbie Boekestein, who leads the neighbouring Inglewood infant school.

Richard, a fan of The Blues, comes to Carlisle after serving the benefice of Aspatria, Hayton and Gilcrux.

He also served the Solway Plain as part of the area’s Mission Community, a cluster of local ecumenical churches, and lived in Abbeytown.

He is taking over the Carlisle parish that was previously led by popular vicar Reverend Sue Wicks for 14 years.

Revd Wicks died in October 2017 following a battle with cancer.

She was 51.

Brampton-born Richard’s proud parents Robin and Penny, of Corby Hill, were also guests at Monday’s special service.

Richard worked for the Post Office in WH Smith, in Carlisle city centre, before he was selected for ordination in 2014.

He completed two years of theology training at St John’s in Nottingham before returning to Cumbria in 2016 and joining the Aspatria benefice as assistant curate.

He helped run youth groups in Aspatria and Silloth and a regular family church.

Richard will not only serve as the vicar of St Elisabeth’s. After Christmas he will be licensed as the vicar of St John the Baptist in Upperby, from where Reverend Jim Hyslop is due to retire in the coming weeks.

Richard, a retro 1980s fan, said: “I’m really excited to be joining the church family in this area of the city.

“That is what attracted me, that real sense of family and community and here you are right in the middle of it all.

“I’m also looking forward to the opportunity of seeing Harraby and the surrounding area move forward and I see the potential of things like its STEP UP project which will develop and grow the church.

“Not only that, I’m looking forward to playing a part in the developments at Upperby in the future.”

Not only a time of change for the two parishes, Richard acknowledges he takes on his first priest-in-charge position at a time of transformation for the area as its implementation of the ecumenical God For All strategy continues.

God for All builds on the prayers, planning and work across churches in Cumbria over the past five years, emphasising mission at the heart.

Churches all over Cumbria are joining together, forming Mission Communities, with the common aim of growing belief in God across the county.

To find out more, visit www.godforall.org.uk.