A new priest has been appointed for St John's and St Michael's churches in Workington.

The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward, known as Frankie, started her ministry in February.

She is also married to the curate at St Michael's, Peter Powell. She said: "It is a real excitement to be able to live and worship with the people of St John's and St Michael's churches and I very much hope both churches can grow together to serve the town in the future, showing forth the love of Jesus to everyone, inspired by the Holy Spirit. I feel very privileged to be here."

Husband Peter said: "I think it's an exciting new phase in our life together. I could say I'm used to being bossed about, so that's nothing new!"

Frances added: "The historic churches of Workington town centre had been without a vicar for some time although the curate, the Revd Dr Peter Powell has been keeping the show on the road and building up the congregation at St Michael’s."

Both churches came together in a service that began at St John’s church and continued at St Michael’s, with the Bishop of Carlisle, The Rt Revd James Newcome taking the service.

The evening continued with a ceilidh in St Michael’s parish rooms, with a band from St John’s.

The churches will be working more closely together to serve Workington, with other church leaders across the town.

Frances was formerly the Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Suffolk where she was for seven years.

Before that she worked at the Cathedral in Bradford, and was a vicar in Manchester.

Peter was ordained in 2018, having been a children’s doctor all his career.

They say they have found a warm welcome in Workington and are committed to ensuring that both churches grow in their presence and service in the town.