Methodist churches in the Whitehaven area this weekend attended a farewell service for a leading minister.

Superintendent minister the Rev Dr Wendy Kilworth-Mason has been in her role for the last five years.

Based in the manse at Egremont, she has overseen nine churches from Frizington to Seascale - a role previously undertaken by three and then two ministers. Dr Kilworth-Mason said she would not have been able to fulfil the role without the support of many dedicated church members.

Now she is moving on to the Yorkshire Methodist Circuit of North Kirklees and Morley.

Her farewell service was held in Seascale.

The Rev Richard Teal, chairman of Cumbria Methodist District, who has recently been appointed president elect of the Methodist Conference for 2020/2021, was the preacher and offered a grateful and sincere thanks on behalf of the circuit for all the time and commitment Dr Kilworth-Mason had given not only to the members of the churches but also for her work in the community.

Individual members had the chance to offer their private thanks and farewells over a bring-and-share lunch afterwards.

Before moving to the Whitehaven circuit, Dr Kilworth-Mason lectured at the College of Theology and Management in Sierra Leone.

Since her arrival in the area, the main Christian denominations have started working together to form mission communities, which ave been established in towns and communities in the area.

This often saw Dr Kilworth-Mason attend meetings and functions.

Dr Kilworth-Mason will be the last minister to hold a position in what is known as the Whitehaven Methodist Circuit as, from September, it will be amalgamated with the Keswick and Cockermouth Circuit to form a new larger Western Fells Circuit.

The new circuit will have 13 churches between Borrowdale and Seascale and will be overseen by a superintendent minister and deacon.