KEIGHLEY Salvation Army has welcomed a new pair of officers.

Husband and wife couple lieutenants Ben and Rebecka Cotterill began working at the High Street base of the local Salvation Army branch last Thursday. (July 24)

The pair have just finished two years of theology and ministry training in London.

They have replaced Salvation Army majors Kenny and Alison Gardner who left to take on new roles in Sheffield after 15 years in Keighley.

Ben, 28, who was born in Scotland and has lived across the UK and also in Sweden, said: "Our training included a lot of theory, but now I'm really looking forward to getting on with the more practical side of our work.

"We'll be involved with the foodbank here, and also with a new centre set up in Bracken Bank which will be helping people to find jobs."

Rebecka, 25, who is originally from Sweden and has lived in England for three years, said: "If Keighley is to be an even better place for people to live we need to work together with all the organisations here, and make sure we're pulling in the same direction. There needs to be a team effort if we're to make a difference."

The couple, who have previously spent six months in India carrying out health and development work, will also minister to their church's congregation.

Responding to being posed to Keighley, Rebecka said: "It's a very diverse town and we're thrilled to be in a place where the Salvation Army has already been working so hard for many years."

Ben added: "It quickly became obvious to us that this Salvation Army church in Keighley really has its sleeves rolled up. It's so heavily involved in the community, which is exactly what the Salvation Army is all about."