A POPULAR Keighley clergyman is leaving the town to take-up a new post.

The Rev Dr Jonathan Pritchard, Keighley’s town chaplain and team vicar, has been appointed team rector of Witham and Villages in Essex.

He came to Keighley in 2004 as priest-in-charge at All Saints’, Highfield. And the following year he also took-up a similar role at St Barnabas, Thwaites Brow.

During his time in Keighley, the Rev Dr Pritchard has been involved in many organisations – from Keighley Together to Highfield Film Collective – and he serves as chaplain to the Lord Mayor of Bradford.

He said: “It will be a huge wrench leaving Keighley, for me and my family, because we love the people and this is what I believe Christ’s ministry is always grounded upon – the love that makes sense of us, hallows us, challenges and impels us.

“In my new role I will primarily be based at St Nicolas, Witham – a beautiful medieval church in a growing town.

“There will be much to do, new challenges and new opportunities. But I will always remember Keighley – its many and varied people and communities and all that we’ve shared together. It is also where my children were born.”

His final Keighley Sunday service is at All Saints’, Highfield Lane, this Sunday (July 25) at 10.30am.