LEADING screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell Boyce has teamed up with the Brontë Parsonage Museum to celebrate Patrick Brontë’s 200th anniversary year.

The church minister is following in his children Charlotte, Branwell and Emily’s footsteps to have a year devoted to his life and work.

The Brontë Society this week announced Cottrell Boyce, writer of movies like Goodbye Christopher Robin and 24 Hour Party People, as its creative partner to work with the Haworth museum throughout 2019.

He will join the museum’s new poet-in-residence Zaffar Kunial in celebrating the life of the Rev Patrick Brontë, 200 years after he was invited to take up the role of Perpetual Curate in Haworth.

A society spokesman said: “Despite Patrick Brontë’s life being blighted with tragedy, outliving all six of his children and his wife Maria, during his time in Haworth he was an avid social reformer.

“He relentlessly campaigned for improvements in public health and as a keen advocate of education, he encouraged his children to read widely, draw and write, with their astonishing achievements often overshadowing his own.”

Like Patrick Brontë, Frank Cottrell Boyce is a champion of children’s literacy and reading, speaking openly about his concerns over the way literacy is taught in schools obsessed with targets.

A best- selling children’s author, his first book Millions won the 2004 Carnegie Medal.

He is also a judge on the BBC children’s writing competition, 500 Words. During his time as Creative Partner, Frank will be celebrating Patrick Brontë’s achievements as a father, educator and campaigner.

Poet Zaffar Kunial will also be exploring Irish born Patrick’s journey. Born in Birmingham to an English mother and Kashmiri father, the award winning poet will be looking at Brontë family’s heritage, creating new works during his time as Writer in Residence.

Part of Brontë 200, a five-year programme launched in 2016 to celebrate 200 years of this extraordinary family, the Brontë Parsonage Museum has revealed a packed programme of events for 2019.

They will honour Patrick Brontë’s legacy, exploring the themes of health, education and community, shedding light on the testing times the family faced living in a town where the average life expectancy was only 25 years – the same as some of the unhealthiest districts in London.

The programme, supported by Arts Council England, opens on February 4, with a new exhibition, Patrick Brontë: In Sickness and in Health, running until January 2020.

It explains more about the man who, as a Minister, was expected to know how best to advise and help his parishioners who couldn’t afford medical treatment.

For the first time his medical text books, filled with his own notes, will be collectively on display, giving a fascinating insight into his determination to help the sick, even as he lost his own family.

Alongside his books are a collection of the Brontë family’s spectacles and a handkerchief, believed to have been used by Anne Brontë and spotted with blood from her infected lungs.

Kitty Wright, Executive Director of The Brontë Society said: “Over the last three years, we have been immersed in the bicentenary celebrations of Charlotte, Branwell and Emily Brontë.

“We are already looking forward to marking Anne’s bicentenary in 2020, but in the meantime, had no hesitation in dedicating 2019 to Patrick, two hundred years after he was first invited to take up the curacy of Haworth. His life and work are rich with themes that have a contemporary relevance, including education, social mobility, heritage, social reform and improvements to public health and we look forward to working with Frank and Zaffar to explore some of these issues in the coming year.”

Also included in the programme for the first half of the year are talks, walks, writing workshops and special events including Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee, a new audio experience featuring the poetry of Emily Brontë set to music and performed by The Unthanks.