A CLERGYMAN has praised the community spirit of the Tyne Valley as he departs the district for a new role in Yorkshire.

The Rev. David Goodall has been a familiar face within the Tynedale Methodist Circuit over the past six-and-a-half years.

During that time, he has served at Hexham and in Slaley, where he helped a struggling congregation grow into a thriving church community.

David reflected on his time in the district before departing to start his new role, as missional communities enabler within the Leeds Methodist District.

“I will really miss the Tyne Valley, both the people and the places,” he said.

“It has been a privilege to get involved with community life here, there’s a great fellowship between the churches.

“The biggest highlight has been to see how God has changed people’s lives.”

David said his role with the Tynedale circuit had taken many forms, from his teaching of the Alpha evangelistic course, to the continued development of the Hexham Holiday Club, and working with community organisations such as the West Northumberland Food Bank, an Hexham Baby and Children Bank.

Other notable projects included working with volunteers to decorate railway stations across the district with knitted angels to spread messages of hope at Christmas, and to remind people of the true meaning of the festive period.

David also praised the way local churches have responded to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, with people of all ages logging into church services streamed online.

“We’ve all embraced it,” he said. “It has helped us to retain our community spirit and it shows there is a value to meeting online as well as within our buildings.”

Speaking of his new role in Leeds, David explained: “It is about helping churches with their mission and discipleship.

“It will be looking at how we develop the Methodist way of life, what it means to be a Christian.”

David moves to Yorkshire with his wife Tara and son Jethro, who joined in a special farewell service for him led by the Tynedale circuit’s superintendent minister, the Rev. Paul Dunstan, on March 28.