A Vicar is looking forward to ‘one last adventure’ as he takes up the position in a town he has never been to before.

Rev’d Canon Steve Wright, from London, has taken up the role of becoming the new Vicar of Haltwhistle, Greenhead, and Beltingham with Henshaw.

He was ‘installed’ in front of 100 people in service at Holy Cross Church, Haltwhistle on Thursday, March 31.

There to welcome him were Civic leaders, representatives of the other churches in the area and the schools, as well as representatives from the Mothers’ Union all, of who came to wish him well.

“The church was full and it was a joyous occasion, people from all over came,” Rev’d Steve Wright said.

“I thought it was amazing that so many came to see me being ‘installed’.

“My sister came up from Devon, we had friends from Ponteland and I was welcomed to the area by many councillors and some community members of the area I would cover.

“We had a lovely buffet after the service and there was a special cake, made and decorated by Elsie Dixon, the Churchwarden at Greenhead, which she had decorated with painted images of the four churches, St Cuthbert’s Greenhead, Holy Cross Haltwhistle, All Hallows’, Henshaw and St Cuthbert’s Beltingham.”

Steve and his wife Jo have moved to Northumberland from Norfolk, where he had seven parishes under his wing. Before that, Steve had served in Nigeria, Kuwait, and Dubai.

Steve said: “We have been abroad for the last 20 years and we have just got back to the UK.

“We knew that we had one last adventure in us, so we thought we would go somewhere we have never been, which was Haltwhistle.

“Every time we visited, the sun was shining and it was a lovely area with lovely people.

“I was impressed by how beautiful the area was and it stuck with me, so I took the job as I wanted a challenge.

“I did not think it would be in Haltwhistle but the parishes in the area were joining from two to three, which on its own will have its challenges but I thought that I would raise to it and have a go.”

Steve and his wife Jo have taken up residence in the Vicarage on Edens Lawn in Haltwhistle, and Steve has already conducted his first services in churches in all three parishes. He has been overwhelmed with the kindness and welcome of the town.

Steve said: “Even before I arrived, everybody was looking after us.

“We had people making sure our accommodation was ok and making sure everything was ready for us for when we arrived.

“Haltwhistle and Greenhead parishes have been without a Vicar for almost four years, so I hope I do the job well and I would like to thank everyone for a lovely warm welcome.”