A KEIGHLEY church is celebrating a milestone.

St John the Evangelist at Ingrow first opened its doors to worshippers on March 14, 1843.

Now a series of events is planned to mark the 180th anniversary, starting with a special service at the church on Sunday, March 12.

Current priest-in-charge the Rev Dr Tracey Raistrick will lead the service, which starts at 11am, and she will welcome Bishop of Bradford the Right Rev Dr Toby Howarth.

Anyone is invited to attend.

That afternoon, between 12.30pm and 4.30pm, the church will be open for members of the public to look around. Dozens of posters have been produced outlining a wide range of stories from across the years, covering the 16 different vicars, plus weddings, burials, various celebrations and pantomimes, which used to be held annually in the adjacent Sunday School buildings. The church thanks everybody who has contributed by sharing photographs, objects and memories.

Also, the church’s history and heritage group – working with Tim Neal, of Keighley and District Local History Society – has produced a 32-page, illustrated history of St John's. Copies will be on sale for the first time that Sunday afternoon – priced £3, cash payments only – with all proceeds going to church funds.

The church cafe will be open throughout the afternoon, offering drinks and refreshments. Then at 5pm, there is a service of Evensong.

People attending and planning to travel by car are asked to park responsibly nearby. Parking in the churchyard is for disabled badge holders only. There is a bus stop outside the church, and Ingrow Station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is nearby.

Further celebratory activities are lined up for the rest of the year.

A Sharing Stories event will take place on May 21, when visitors will be invited to share their own tales in relation to the church and take along photographs and memorabilia.

Mr Neal will give a slide talk about the history of St John's at the church on the evening of July 19, there will be a short guided tour of the churchyard and key items within the church on September 7, an organ recital takes place at 7pm on October 14, and plans are being made for a Remembrance Day event in November.

The Rev Dr Raistrick said: "Myself and the team look forward to welcoming people in this wonderful celebratory year."